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10 Anti-Malaria Centers to Be Built in Africa

China has planned to build 10 centers for malaria prevention and treatment in Africa by the end of this year to help the continent to get rid of the disease.

According to Gao Qi, deputy director of the verminosis control team under the Ministry of Health, the centers will be established in 10 African countries and the first has opened in Liberia in February this year.

In addition, the first group of 60 medical experts, who will go to work in these centers, are receiving a 10-day professional trainings at the provincial verminosis control center of Jiangsu in east China, said Gao.

The trainees, who are selected from hospitals, medical labs and academies across the country, will not only treat patients in Africa, but also pass on their knowledge on malaria prevention and treatment to their African colleagues, said Gao.

Almost 400 million people in the world suffer from malaria every year with 80 percent occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated one million children under the age of five in Africa die of the illness yearly, which also causes US$12 billion in economic loss for Africa.

"The trainees are expected to get an all-around understanding of how serious the situation of malaria in Africa and get to the latest research achievements to treat the disease to help them adapt themselves to the challenges in Africa as soon as possible," said Gao.

China made commitment in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November 2006 to establish 30 anti-malaria centers for Africa in three years.

Gao's center has held six anti-malaria workshops to train 169 professionals from the 43 countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The center also sent experts last year to Senegal and Uganda to give anti-malaria trainings to more than 180 local health officials and medical workers, said Gao.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2007)

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