China Steps Up on Global Health

Liu Zhenmin, the Chinese deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, spoke to the general assembly on Tuesday and called for better global cooperation on global health issues. He specifically focused on improving information: “The international community should pool its resources and work together, strengthen the sharing of information, technology and experience in prevention and control, so as to contain the spread of major epidemics around the world, including H1N1 influenza…”

He mentioned the Chinese government approach to public health as an example for the global community to follow. “The maternal mortality rate has dropped from 1,500/100,000 down to 34.2/100,000 and infant mortality rate from 200/1000 to 14.9/1000. China also reached ahead of schedule the MDG targets in the reduction of the mortality rate of infants and children under five and in the prevention and treatment of malaria.”

This seems like a good sign to me. China has a lot of resources it could bring to bear on improving global health. As they increase their global reach and participation in development projects, it could be game-changing if they broaden their focus to global health instead of just infrastructure.