CDC headquarters a testament of China’s friendship with Africa

24 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
CDC headquarters a testament of China’s friendship with Africa The first phase of the project, started in December 2020 by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, was completed last week.

The Herald

ADDIS ABABA. – Looking at an iconic twin tower sitting on a once derelict land full of garbage in the southern suburbs of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, local resident Wakjira Totofa said: “It’s really like a dream.”

“We never thought we would see such a magnificent building in a short period,” said Totofa, a civil servant who lives in the neighbourhood of the building hosting the headquarters of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

Totofa has witnessed the dramatic change from “nothing to something” on his daily commute. 

The first phase of the project, started in December 2020 by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, was completed last week.

Gao Jiajia, project manager of the construction team, said that since the start of the project, only a few of the 330 Chinese workers on the site have taken leave. 

They chose to race against time even though the Covid-19 pandemic and the conflict in northern Ethiopia have brought unpredictable challenges to the construction of the project.

“I feel immensely honoured that we have fulfilled China’s solemn commitment,” Gao said.

To Ewnetu Ferede, a senior structural engineer who has worked with his Chinese peers on other major projects, the new Africa CDC headquarters has multiple positive implications.

The Africa CDC has played a vital role during the pandemic though it only had a small office. “Its capacity and size have increased exponentially, which requires a fully-fledged facility,” Ferede said.

Totofa said his friends and family were thrilled when they heard the Africa CDC headquarters has been built.

“As an Ethiopian and an African, I have been afraid of diseases since I was a child, because malaria, for example, has taken the lives of some of my relatives. Every time we contracted an infectious disease, we couldn’t get treatment as early as the rest of the world; when an outbreak occurred, we couldn’t get a vaccine in the first place,” he said.

Aschalew Worku, a health expert at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa, said the ability of a resilient health system to sustain routine healthcare services during a public health emergency is an important lesson that the pandemic has taught the world.

With the highest concentration of developing countries, Africa is a weak link in the global public health system.

Malaria, cholera, yellow fever, and other infectious diseases have plagued Africa all year round, seriously threatening the lives and health of the people. – Xinhua

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