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November 22, 2016

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Global health is priority for China

PREMIER Li Keqiang said China would continue to promote global health while providing help to other developing countries.

Li made the remarks in Shanghai at the opening ceremony of the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion. Jointly organized by China and the World Health Organization, it runs until Thursday.

WHO officials, city mayors and health ministers are among more than 1,180 health-sector personnel from 126 countries and regions at the conference to share ideas on how to improve the well-being of the world’s 7.4 billion people.

China had taken an active role in pushing forward global health, Li said, adding that the country would continue to honor its international obligations. In the past 50 years China had sent 20,000 medical workers to 67 countries and regions, treating more than 260 million patients.

Li said when an Ebola epidemic broke out in West Africa in 2014, China sent 1,200 medical workers and public health experts to the affected areas, significantly helping to defeat the epidemic.

He called for a strengthening of global cooperation and for the building of a global prevention and control system for public health. China, which supported WHO’s drive to establish emergency teams and set up contingency funds, also called on developed countries to increase support for developing countries and jointly build a global health and safety barrier, Li said.

The premier also urged the promotion of health science and technology research. “Technological innovation is the golden key to open the door to health,” he said.

Since the first Global Conference on Health Promotion in 1986, it has become a key platform for WHO and members to discuss important global health issues and set the agenda for promoting health worldwide. This year’s theme is “Health for all and all for health.”

Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, in her keynote address, praised Shanghai’s efforts to make airports, railway stations and hotels smoke-free. And she appealed to city mayors at the conference “to make sure the smoking control in China can be further progressed.”

Describing the combination of legislative and fiscal measures as “among the most effective interventions,” Chan called for intersectional efforts at both the national and municipal levels to reshape people’s environments and lifestyle choices.

Yesterday, the Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion was delivered and adopted by participants of the conference as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders last year. The goal is to end poverty and inequality and tackle climate change.

The Shanghai Declaration will guide the next phase of work in global health and enlarge the role of health in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030, according to WHO.

The declaration states health and well-being are essential to achieving sustainable development. It also called on governments to consider the growing importance and value of traditional medicine.

Tomorrow, which is “China Day” at the conference, the delegates will be invited to tour sites across Shanghai where innovations in health promotion and sustainable development have been implemented.

The route spans 15 districts of the city, with visits to schools, workplaces and neighborhood communities.


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