China shares malaria prevention experiences with African countries
Published: Dec 10, 2020 04:23 PM

The Artemisia Annua Germplasm Resources Bank in Rong'an County, Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, June 17, 2019. The facility is home to more than 1,000 types of Artemisia Annua, or sweet wormwood, a herb employed in Chinese traditional medicine. The plant seeds are stored at temperatures of minus 80 degrees, minus 25 degrees and room temperature. At the facility, research is underway to better understand seedling cultivation to select the best strain for producing artemisinin, a substance that inhibits the malaria parasite and discovered by Tu Youyou, who won the 2015 Nobel Prize. The facility is also the world's largest producer of artemisinin. (China News Service/Wang Yizhao)

While China has created a malaria-free society - bringing down an estimated 30 million cases of malaria to zero after nearly seven decades of hard work, now the country is actively sharing its experiences with African countries that are still haunted by the infectious disease. 

The National Institute of Parasitic Diseases under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a conference with Harvard University and World Health Organization on how China's past experiences in combating the malaria could be applied to African countries.

China-Africa friendship has a long history and the two sides have been closely cooperated in the health field. Since China sent its first medical aid team to Algeria in 1963, China's medical aid to Africa has never been halted, Li Bin, a deputy head of China's National Health Commission, said at the conference. 

Statistics from World Health Organization showed among 228 million cases of malaria worldwide which caused 409,000 deaths, 94 percent of those cases happened in Africa. 

Over the past years, China has actively explored new ways and platforms to help African countries combat the disease. Some experts visited African countries to treat the vulnerable. 

China is exploring gene techniques and new methods of genetic epidemiology in supervising the work of malaria. In the future, china will build a broader cooperative platform with countries along the Belt and Road to promote worldwide malaria prevention work.

Global Times