29 JULY 2016
The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, held wide ranging discussions with Vice-Premier of China, Liu Yandong in Beijing on 28 July.
The discussions touched on global and domestic health issues including China’s own health care reform programme and moves towards universal access to healthcare through the uptake of its medical insurance system. Mrs Liu underlined China’s commitment to improving health outcomes and welcomed the strength of the country’s partnerships with both UNAIDS and the World Health Organization.
Mr Sidibé congratulated the Chinese authorities for significantly reducing the number of AIDS-related deaths in the country and for expanding HIV prevention programmes nationwide to stop children from becoming infected with HIV. Since 2014, Beijing has reported that no babies have been born with HIV. Mr Sidibé also mentioned China’s highly successful harm reduction programmes, which continue to reduce the number of new HIV infections among people who inject drugs.
China’s contribution to the international AIDS response was also discussed, particularly the country’s support to some of the world’s most affected countries in Africa. The importance of building robust health systems and ensuring the local production of pharmaceuticals were both stressed as being key to the future response to the HIV epidemic in Africa.
Earlier in the week, Mr Sidibé met with the Vice-Chairman of the China-Africa Business Council, Xu Zhiming and thanked him for the organization’s ongoing support to the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS. During his five-day visit, Mr Sidibé also met with Li Bin, the Minister for National Health and Family Planning, and discussed scaling up HIV prevention efforts among men who have sex with men and other key populations.
“WE MUST TAKE THE BROADEST APPROACH TOWARDS HEALTH—BY INTEGRATING HEALTH WITHIN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. PEOPLE’S HEALTH IS CONNECTED WITH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND UNAIDS HAVE KEY ROLES TO PLAY.”
“WHEN CHINA MAKES HEALTH, INTEGRATION AND INCLUSION A PRIORITY, WE CAN SEE THERE IS A GROWING MOMENTUM TO EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES FOR KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND CAPACITY BUILDING WITH PARTNERS IN AFRICA.”
“THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND UNAIDS ARE GOOD PARTNERS AND WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CHINA’S EFFORTS FOR HEALTH AND ITS INTEGRATION ACROSS THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA.”