The Chinese Government Thursday donated medical equipment worth K72.2 million to Kamuzu and Mzuzu central hospitals in Malawi.
Speaking when he received the equipment on behalf of Malawi Government, Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi hailed the 11-year diplomatic relations saying Malawi has a fine friend in the People's Republic of China.
He said Malawi has benefited a lot from China especially in the health sector through the Chinese Medical Team Program.
"Malawi has seen specialist Chinese medical personnel coming to Malawi to give specialized treatment to patients in the country's hospitals apart from donating medical equipment over the years.
"They have also been providing specialist training to our local personnel," Muluzi said.
He said though the country has been making strides in improving health service delivery, it faced some challenges including insufficient number of specialist doctors.
Muluzi said the donation includes diagnostic equipment that was not available in the country.
"It will go a long way in supporting patients that have ear, nose, throat and eye complications. So we are very grateful for this timely donation to the two central hospitals," he said.
Muluzi said as the protocol arrangement with China is coming to an end this year, Malawi will be signing a new arrangement for the continuation of the support.
Presenting the equipment, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Liu Hongyang said, among other things, China values health care as key to development.
"The reason is that the development we advocate is towards building a strong community with a shared future for all mankind.
"This is also why when we signed the agreement of sending Chinese medical teams to Malawi only six months later than we established our diplomatic ties, which was the first China-aid project to Malawi," Hongyang said.
He said since the two countries signed the bilateral relations, the Chinese Government has sent six batches of medical teams to Malawi, including 101 members.
"They have received 58,765 outpatients, 84,844 inpatients and conducted 22,368 operations in both Kamuzu Central Hospital and Mzuzu Central Hospital.
Apart from the routine work at the two hospitals, the Chinese doctors also provide free medical treatment in different parts of Malawi twice a year, especially in the villages where there are almost no doctors and clinics.