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S/African minister urges China, Africa to implement health pact

South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said it is imperative for Africa and China to speed up implementing a health cooperation deal made during the 2015 second Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) of their health ministers.Speaking on Tuesday during a China-Africa Health Ministers Conference in Pretoria, Motsoaledi said Africa must, in partnership with China, come up with practical solutions to implement the health commitment the two sides made two years ago.

The conference, part of the South Africa-China High Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism, ends on Thursday.

“We have to put this partnership towards self-propelled, sustainable and irreversible progress. We must move only in one direction, and that is forward. And we must do so with the resolute determination to succeed.

“Our continent is still blighted by conflicts, poverty is still widespread, and our youth remain unemployed,” Motsoaledi said, and urged the delegates to fast track the implementation of flagship projects the health cooperation agreement.

These projects include the production of generic drugs for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; strengthening African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the five regional collaborating centres, and getting off the ground a dedicated China-Africa Human Resources for Health Programme to address Africa’s human capital challenges, he added.

On her part, Chinese Health and Family Planning Commission Minister Li Bin said Africa and China have had common aspirations over the years.

She commended the African Union’s Agenda 2063 for placing health at the top of its priority list.

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