China and Ethiopia symposium marked the first step towards bilateral research and cooperation on tropical diseases

  Since April this year, with the coordination of Ethiopian Ambassador to China, Mr. Teshome Toga Chanaka, the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, China CDC (Chinese Center for Tropical Diseases Research) (NIPD) has established initial contact with Wolaita Sodo University (WSU) in Ethiopia. Thanks to the active efforts of multiple parties, the first China-Ethiopia Virtual Symposium on Cooperation on Research of Tropical Diseases was held on June 16, 2022, which about 30 participants attended. His Excellency Teshome Togachana, Ethiopian Ambassador to China, Madam Wang Xiaoqi, Head of Office of International Cooperation at China CDC, and Mr. Lukas Dingato, Chief Executive Director of WSU attended the opening ceremony and delivered welcoming speeches. Ambassador Teshome Toga Chanaka thanked NIPD and WSU for their active exchanges and cooperation. He emphasized the importance of bilateral cooperation between China and Ethiopia, especially in the fields of health and education. He hoped that this symposium would promote the tropical diseases cooperation between China and Ethiopia, and both sides would strengthen scientific research and capacity building to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.

  Madam Wang Xiaoqi said with 50 years of efforts, China has made great achievements in controlling the tropical diseases. Last year, China was awarded a malaria-free certification from WHO. As tropical diseases in China enter the elimination stage, China’s public health workers have started to go global and made more contributions to the elimination of tropical diseases in the world. It is hoped that experts from the two countries would conduct fruitful discussion, identify the key areas for future cooperation in tropical diseases research, establish a cooperation mechanism, and actively promote the cooperation btween China and Ethiopia in tropical diseases. Mr. Lukas Dingato said that this online symposium is of great significance to the cooperation of tropical diseases research between China and Ethiopia. WSU is willing to work together with NIPD to carry out cooperation in the control and elimination, treatment and scientific research of tropical diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis, and promote the elimination process of tropical diseases in Ethiopia, Africa and the world.

  The symposium focused on key tropical diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis. Experts from both sides gave a detailed introduction on the situation, control and elimination strategies, challenges and cooperation needs of tropical diseases in China and Ethiopia. During the panel discussion, the experts introduced their professional expertise and actively explored the cooperation mechanism between the two sides. Finally, Dr. Zhou Xiao-Nong, director of NIPD, suggested that researchers from both sides should form a cooperative research team to explore potential cooperation projects through regular exchanges, tap into multi-channel research funds, and make use of the resources of both sides, so as to realize a win-win model in tropical disease research in China and Ethiopia. Mr. Lukas Dingato expressed appreciation to the leaders and experts from both sides who participated in this online symposium, and hoped that NIPD and WSU would continue to deepen the cooperation and exchange of personnel, expertise and technology, in order to play a more important role in realizing the control and elimination of tropical diseases.