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China increases commitment to world health

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The People’s Republic of China has agreed to an enhanced relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), collaborating to reduce the impact of health emergencies around the globe.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently completed a three-day official visit to China and said the meetings held there had paved the way for more strategic alliances on delivering universal health coverage.

While in Beijing, Dr Tedros met privately with Premier Li Keqiang for high-level discussions on how China can expand its international health security cooperation. Dr Tedros also met with Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Vice Chairman Han Qide of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and National Health and Family Planning Commission Minister Li Bin.

During the meeting with Minister Li Bin, China signed a memorandum of understanding with WHO for an additional voluntary contribution of US$20 million in support of WHO’s global work. WHO and China agreed to enhanced collaboration to reduce the impact of health emergencies; build stronger health systems to deliver universal health coverage; and focus on the well-being of women, children and adolescents at the centre of global health efforts.

“China’s health reforms show it’s possible to implement far-reaching, quality transformations in a short time,” Dr Tedros said.

“Its success in providing 95 per cent of its population with access to health insurance is a model for other countries in how to make our world fairer, healthier and safer. We can all learn something from China.”

In addition to official government meetings, Dr Tedros met China’s next generation at an event in Beijing with more than 200 young health leaders. He encouraged the young leaders to inspire their peers and loved ones to make healthy choices, telling them: “You are the future, it is true. But you are also the present. Your ideas and actions matter now, and I believe in you.”