After more than 40 years of fruitful cooperation between Africa and China in the medical domain, there are still a number of untouched areas. Which both sides can explore to strengthen their win-win collaboration. This is even more imperative, given the raging Coronavirus pandemic. That has left the world’s health systems battered almost to the point of annihilation, writes Kimeng Hilton NDUKONG.
One major lesson can already be learnt from the ongoing Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. It is that no single nation can go it alone! Not after the virus – hitherto unknown to medical science – has contaminated more than 4.7 million people all over the world and killed over 313,000 by May 17, 2020. If such were to be the case, Western nations, reputed for their excellent medical facilities and highly qualified manpower, will not also literally be on their knees today because of COVID-19. Very much like what is normally expected of health systems in poor developing countries!
This is what Prof. Fru Asanji Fobuzshi Angwafo III, the Director General of the Chinese-built Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital, HGOPY, in Yaounde, Cameroon, describes as “the spirit of one human family, one health.” The idea refers to garnering international solidarity to contribute to the development of nations – be it in health or any other area.
Though the Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital, Yaounde, Cameroon, is not a dedicated COVID-treatment centre, the Chinese medical team serving there contributed in training hospital staff on the management of COVID-19, explains Prof. Fru Angwafo. “They also contributed medical supplies, especially surgical masks. HGOPY has an integrated approach and cooperation with Shanxi Province in China in care delivery, training, research and partnership,” he discloses.
“We signed an agreement with the Shanxi Eye Hospital, which has trained some of our staff in specialised cataract care and posterior chamber operations,” the Director General says. Notwithstanding sovereignty, development – especially the improvement of living conditions and the well-being of populations – should be a great national and international cause. One world, one human race, Fru Angwafo stresses. “Informed opinion holds that the answer to improving our healthcare system is endogenous,” he however adds.
After more than 40 years of fruitful cooperation in the medical domain between Cameroon and China, there are still a number of untouched areas which both sides can explore to strengthen their win-win collaboration. This is even more imperative, given the raging Coronavirus pandemic. That has left the world’s health systems battered almost to the point of annihilation.
Nevertheless, the assistance of the People’s Republic of China, Prof. Angwafo recalls, has been invaluable to the Cameroon health system. “Since 1972, China has built hospitals, regularly dispatched medical teams, and offered equipment to optimize technical platforms,” he reveals. He describes Jack Mah Foundation’s assistance to Africa’s efforts to fight COVID-19 as “remarkable.” “A friend in need is a friend indeed, so we say!” the professor exclaims.
Angwafo does not hesitate to salute the wealth and excellence of Sino-Cameroonian cooperation, particularly in the area of health. He cites the example of the Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital in Yaounde, Cameroon that was created by Presidential Decree No. 2001/271 of September 24, 2001, as fruit of the exemplary win-win cooperation. “The People’s Republic of China is a friend of Cameroon. We can only extol the magnificence of this cooperation and wish that it will bear more fruit!” Prof. Fru Asanji Fobuzshi Angwafo III notes.
Kimeng Hilton NDUKONG, a journalist based in Yaounde, Cameroon, is a contributor to People’s Daily English Language Online Desk. He is a 2017 Fellow of the China-Africa Press Centre.
Mimi Mefo Info