BEIJING– CHINA has pledged to reinforce its health co-operation with Africa through sending more medical teams, conducting short-term free consultations and strengthening its sister hospitals projects with African countries.

In an interview here over the weekend, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Co-operation in the National Health Commission, Yong Feng, said China was also determined to push forward for pharmaceutical co-operation to improve the health well-being of Chinese and Africans.

Tanzania is one of the African countries which benefit from Chinese medical assistance in terms of free medical consultations, sister hospitals projects and malaria control and prevention programmes.

Last November, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s hospital ship, Peace Ark, was in Dar-es-Salaam for a humanitarian mission and during its eight-day stay here, Chinese doctors on the Peace Ark treated more than 6,000 patients.

President John Magufuli also visited the Peace Ark, commending the move by the Chinese government to send the hospital ship to Tanzania as one deliberate effort to improve relations between the two countries.

According to Yong, the Chinese government had supported several health initiatives in Tanzania, including he Malaria Control and Prevention Project through the China-United Kingdom-Tanzania Trilateral Co-operation and a Schistosomiasis Prevention and Control project in Zanzibar through the China-WHO-Zanzibar Trilateral Co-operation.

The deputy director further noted that Tanzania was among 15 African countries under sister hospitals project. Other countries are Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Guinea, Sierra Lion, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Gambia, South Sudan, Algeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He said that since 1963, China has cumulatively dispatched over 20,000 medics to 50 African countries, providing medical services to approximately 210 million patients.