The People’s Republic of China and the Federal Government of Nigeria have signed a letter of intent to improve the health sector of both countries, share knowledge and expertise. The agreement is to also ensure best medical practices.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun, and Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, signed the document on behalf of both countries on Friday in Abuja.
Cui said that the project was one of the nine programmes initiated by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, during the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on public hygiene and public health.
He said that the pioneer project, which will be implemented by the People’s University Hospital in Beijing and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, will address the public health challenges in both countries.
“So today, what we are doing is about the public health and this agreement will be a historic moment where the two countries will work together not only for the pandemic.
“I do believe that the two sides in the cooperation between hospitals, the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and the China Beijing University People’s Hospital can work together.
“Not only in the areas of technology but share information about the solutions.
“Nigeria and China, we have huge population that we need public health and I do believe that today’s agreement is important in the long run of the two countries.
“China attaches great importance to Nigeria; we are doing a lot of things for the future cooperation, including the medicines, how can we work together to produce the traditional medicines in Nigeria.
“I will work hard with colleague to make sure that with this agreement we can open a new chapter for China-Nigeria relations in this public health sector.
“I do believe that the Chinese experts, technology can benefit Nigeria and also we can learn from the Nigerian side your practice and experience from the government and hospital levels,” Cui said.
Ehanire, who also commended the initiative, said that the letter of intent is the first steep to opening another avenue for the expansion of knowledge, transfer and exchange of skills and knowledge between Nigeria and China.
“The main purpose in the signing of the Memorandum of Intent between the government of Nigeria and the government of China for close cooperation between the People’s University Hospital in Beijing and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.
“But it is extremely important to diversify knowledge, diversify experience and to know what are the best practices in China and what can we take from there to add to ours.
“And what can they also learn from us because there is no end to knowledge.
“This is an excellent and welcome opportunity to exchange knowledge, practices and learn from each other, to also go on with research and development.
“And in our own case go on with clinical trials, we are also ready for that and we are also discussing areas of cooperation in vaccine production”, Ehanire said.
Prof. Bissallah Ekele, the Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, said that the initiative was apt, assuring that the teaching hospital will effectively harness all the opportunities it comes with.
“This is a very huge moment to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and the relationship that we are about to start is very timely.
“And as a hospital, the three components; clinical service delivery, teaching and training, and research for which teaching hospitals are known for, our own teaching hospital is fully prepared on these components.
“And will have no difficulty relating with our counterpart in Beijing. We are very glad with that partnership and we will not disappoint,” Ekele said.