Healthcare experts from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and African Union (AU) member states held discussion with Chinese counterparts on potential ways of replicating the experience of China in containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the African continent.

This came during a joint special webinar entitled “Global MediXChange for Combating COVID-19 (GMCC): The Experience of China” that was held on late Tuesday in collaboration between the Africa CDC and the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation.

“We are pleased of the partnership and extremely appreciative of the personal commitment of Jack Ma in the spirited fight against the terrible enemy COVID-19,” said John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, during the joint special webinar.

“The continent is extremely appreciative of the continuous support received from the Jack Ma Foundation for several member states including the one today to fight COVID-19,” Nkengasong said.

He also stressed that the special joint webinar for combating COVID-19 across the African continent and beyond with particular emphasis on the experience of China would enable medical experts from Africa, China and other parts of the world to share knowledge, experience and best practices for treating COVID-19.

According to co-organizers of the special webinar, over 1,600 healthcare workers from more than 20 African nations participated in the live exchange on sharing the Chinese experience in dealing with COVID-19 in Africa.

The Chinese tech entrepreneur and philanthropist, Jack Ma, also during the webinar commended the AU Commission, through the Africa CDC, for its effective leadership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent. “The AU and the Africa CDC have demonstrated what we need most today, leadership, action and efficiency.

Through our partnership, our first donation to Africa was distributed to 50 African countries in just only 6 days, this is amazing,” Jack Ma said.

“Here, I want to give my special thanks to the Ethiopian Airlines for the great commitment and capability,” he said, adding that “the Africa CDC, your dedication and responsibility in leading experience-sharing with international medical practitioners deserves our admiration.”

During the discussion, Jack Ma also vowed to further strengthen the support being made by his foundation to the African continent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Solidarity and collaboration are the only ways we can succeed,” he said. “The solution is not isolation but cooperation instead,” he said, while calling on others to stand together to battle the global pandemic.

The GMCC platform, which was launched in March to facilitate open knowledge sharing and online communication to combat COVID-19 and supported by technologies and tools from Alibaba Health and Alibaba Cloud, mainly features three main components that are digital access to epidemic prevention resources, videos and webinars, and tools for online discussions, it was noted.

Nearly 3,000 medical professionals have already joined the platform globally and thousands of medical staff from hospitals across Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe have so far participated in live exchange sessions organized by the GMCC to better understand how to respond to this new virus disease, according to the Africa CDC.

On Monday, the Africa CDC had received the third donation of medical equipment and supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The donation, which will be distributed to all AU member states in support of their national COVID-19 fight, includes 4.6 million masks, 500,000 swabs and test kits, 300 ventilators, 200,000 sets of protective clothing, 200,000 face shields, 2,000 temperature guns, 100 body temperature scanners, and 500,000 pairs of gloves.

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