China will continue to send medical teams to African countries to assist them in developing the healthcare sector, the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday.
Ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an said at a news briefing on the upcoming China-Africa Cooperation Forum that China will reform the operation of the medical teams to bring them more into line with African requirements. China and African countries will also cooperate more in infectious disease control and in the training of health care professionals, Mao added.
By the end of 2005, China had dispatched more than 15,000 medical doctors to 47 African countries. Since April 1963, when the country sent its first medical team to the continent, Chinese doctors have examined about 170 million patients in Africa, figures from the ministry show. More than 950 medical doctors who are dispatched by the Chinese government are currently working in 36 African countries, according to Mao.
China has enhanced the training of African medical staff since the China-Africa Cooperation Forum was initiated in 2000.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and African countries.
The third ministerial meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum will be held from Nov. 3-5 in Beijing. The summit will focus on "friendship, peace, cooperation and development."
(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2006)