Chinese officials plan to open a malaria research center in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde, Shen Yi, a Chinese embassy official, said recently ahead of an opening ceremony for the center, Xinhuanet reports. The center is expected to cost three million Chinese yuan, or about $440,000, Xinhuanet reports.
China also plans to send four malaria experts to Cameroon for 50 days, Shen said. Shen added that China sends a team of malaria experts to Cameroon annually but that the team plans to work with a Cameroonian team this year to share China's experience in controlling the disease. "The climate in China, especially in the southern provinces, is identical to that of the sub-Saharan African countries," Shen said, noting that China has "invested much in the scientific research" and has been "able to provide effective treatment against the disease." In addition, Prosper Ndong, permanent secretary of China's national malaria control program, said that at least two Cameroonian physicians attend a month-long training on malaria in China annually. "This is a cooperation which has lasted for a long time," Ndong said, adding, "With this research center to be opened, we expect there will be even more training."
According to Xinhuanet, malaria is the No. 1 cause of death in Cameroon. A 2004 survey conducted by Cameroon's malaria program found that children younger than age five and pregnant women were the most vulnerable to the disease. According to Shen, China plans to establish similar malaria research centers in an additional 13 African countries (Mvogo, Xinhuanet, 3/24).