By Li Wei, Wang Lishan, Wei Yin
China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Video Conference on Military Medicine (Photo by Wang Xiaoyu)
BEIJING, Nov. 5 -- The China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Video Conference on Military Medicine, hosted by China’s Ministry of National Defense and organized by the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, kicked off in Beijing on the afternoon of November 4. Themed on strengthening medical cooperation to fight the pandemic together, the conference invited representatives from the militaries of 19 African countries to share anti-virus experience and discuss how to jointly defeat the pandemic.
Major General Qu Aiguo, vice president of the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, said in the opening speech that the China-Africa community of shared future has withstood the test of the pandemic. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese military has taken a series of pragmatic steps of assistance, including providing anti-pandemic supplies and vaccines to the militaries of African countries, and sending military medical expert teams and peacekeeping contingents.
He pointed out that China is willing to work with the African side to resolutely resist the political virus spreading hatred and the beggar-thy-neighbor “vaccine nationalism”, continue to implement the “Health Action” within the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), deliver the outcomes of the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, and jointly build the China-Africa community of health for all.
At the conference, three Chinese participants shared the Chinese military’s experience in fighting the epidemic within the military and the country, the participation of China’s military scientific research institutes in vaccine R&D, and efforts of virus origins tracing. The Chinese side made three proposals – fighting the pandemic in solidarity, promoting pragmatic cooperation, and strengthening talents cultivation – to intensify the military medical cooperation with the African side.
Military representatives and experts from African countries also spoke at the conference, talking about how the pandemic has affected regional and national security, what they have done to enhance their military medical systems, and how they responded to public health emergencies and cooperated with China.
Colonel Abeng Mbozo'o Émile, director of the Military Health Department under Cameroon’s Ministry of Defense, expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for the large amounts of medical equipment, masks and other anti-pandemic supplies provided for Cameroon.
Makonga Franck, chief of the Center of Urgent Operations of Public Sanitation under the Côte d'Ivoire’s Ministry of Defense, expressed the willingness to deepen the bilateral anti-virus cooperation with the Chinese side to enhance their military’s responsiveness to public medical crises like COVID-19.2
Surgeon Commodore NB Onwere, director of Defence Medical Services of Nigeria, suggested that the Nigerian and Chinese military medical teams could carry out joint training on fighting against the massive spread of infectious diseases, intensify joint medicine R&D, and share experience in developing the military medical systems.
Colonel Stephen Sevalie, commander of the Joint Medical Unit under the Sierra Leone Armed Forces and president of the No.34 Military Hospital, vowed to continue promoting the cooperation between the two militaries in the medical field that had proved beneficial for both sides.
An African representative speaks at the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum Video Conference on Military Medicine. (Photo by Wei Yin)