China committed to building 100 health facilities in Africa - Motsoaledi

Thulani Gqirana

Cape Town - The Chinese government has committed to building 100 health facilities in Africa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says.

Chinese Health Minister Li Bin, along Motsoaledi, made the announcement in Cape Town on Tuesday following the second ministerial forum of China-Africa Health Development meeting.

The Chinese health minister said they would also continue to send medical teams to work in African countries and recruit some 1 500 medical personnel in the next three years.

The two countries have committed to improving the health systems of African countries in the post-Ebola era, reinforcing laboratory capacity and diagnostic systems, assisting with human resources development in Africa, and improving health infrastructure.

Motsoaledi said the building of the 100 health facilities would go a long way in helping to strengthen the continent's resources.

"We regard the whole issue of Ebola which happened in Africa as ground zero. It exposed us as a continent, that we have health care systems that are not strong. Now we are not preparing for Ebola only, but [the] strengthening of the health care system."

China would also provide scholarships and training courses to public health professionals in Africa, while both sides had agreed to expand their information exchanges and cooperation with regard to major diseases.

Motsoaledi could not say how much the cooperation process would cost South Africa and said it included 25 ministers of health from the African continent who were each helping out where they could.