Interview: China helps Africa in fight against Ebola outbreak: Africa CDC chief

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-22 00:34:42|Editor: ZX
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ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China has significantly contributed to Africa's ongoing combat against Ebola outbreak as well as to the development of the Africa Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Africa CDC), according to John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Director.

Officially launched in January 2017 with its headquarters on the premises of the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Africa CDC has been undertaking various activities, with which it has been able to support at least 9 countries to respond to 12 outbreaks, Nkengasong told Xinhua on Thursday.

The Director of Africa CDC was also speaking to a press conference on Thursday at the AU headquarters on the ongoing combat against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he said that Africa CDC has deployed 46 health workers and experts of different areas as part of response support.

The latest 10th Ebola Virus Outbreak in the DRC is reported to be the second largest outbreak of Ebola, after that of West Africa in 2015.

With epidemiological, laboratory, logistics and other forms of support, the Africa CDC has contributed significantly to surveillance and contact tracing, infection prevention and control and risk communication in the country, he has noted.

Speaking of China's contribution to Africa's efforts in taming such problems, Nkengasong said that China has deployed experts in neighbouring countries of the DRC, which the director said is important support to detect and stop the spread of the Ebola virus.

He also noted that China has been supporting the Africa CDC which has been taking various activities as part of the response efforts to the latest Ebola outbreak in the DRC.

"The Chinese government has deployed experts in neighboring countries in Uganda and other countries where it is very important that we are focusing not only in DRC but we are also focusing in the neighboring countries, just in case the virus escapes," he said.

With regard to China's support to the development of Africa CDC, the director said that two Chinese experts are working together with African experts at the headquarters of Africa CDC to develop the center.

He also recalled that the Chinese government had also pledged assistance to help with the construction of Africa CDC.

"It will be a state-of-the-art facility, and we are really hoping by the end of this year, the ground breaking ceremony will be held for the construction of the facility," Nkengasong said.

During a meeting last month at the AU headquarters, Africa CDC and China CDC discussed ways of strengthening collaboration between the two institutions.

"This is the time for Africa CDC and China CDC to develop the rules of how we work together to establish a strong Africa CDC,"the Director of Africa CDC said on the occasion.