The discovery of Artemisinin saves millions of lives

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Tu’s Nobel-winning discovery highly significant, says minister

Nobel Prize-winning Chinese pharmacologist Tu Youyou was a hot topic at the 2nd Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Cooperation in South Africa on October 6.

"The discovery of Artemisinin saves millions of lives, which not only has great scientific value but also significant meaning for life", Li Bin, minister of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said at the forum.

Li congratulated Tu on winning the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Li said Tu extracted Artemisinin from a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, developing a new way to treat malaria and saving millions of lives. "Tu’s discovery has made a great contribution to human health, and is a pride for China," she said, adding that the Chinese government will further push innovation of traditional Chinese medicine, making a contribution to all people’s health and happiness.

According to Li, China and Africa have been cooperating in an anti-malarial project with Artemisinin in the Union of Comoros, the third-smallest African nation by area. In the past eight years, the project has reduced the death toll caused by malaria to zero. China and Africa will cooperate more in anti-malarial and technological projects in future.

Ministers of African countries attending the forum expressed congratulations on Tu’s Nobel success to the Chinese delegation.

Fouad Mohadj, vice president of Comoros, said that each family in the nation has two or three family members who used to be infected with malaria with the disease’s hospitalization rate up to 42 percent. Thanks to the success of the anti-malaria project, the hospitalization rate has dropped to zero and no deaths from malaria have been recorded since 2014. "We hope that China and Comoros can set up a comprehensive cooperative partnership in the health sector," he said.

Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi, health minister of South Africa, said the award is not only good news for China but for all BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries and will encourage them to further cooperate in the health sector to make bigger breakthroughs

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