China on Friday handed over medical supplies worth over US$ 10 million to South Sudan to support the government’s health initiative.
“China is unconditionally helping us to implement our government policy of providing universal health care to all citizens of South Sudan,” South Sudan’s Minister for Health Riek Gai Kok said in Juba.
“They have introduced to us the concept of ‘barefoot doctor’ system as one of the ways to deliver service to the people,” he added.
Kok hailed the Chinese government for standing in solidarity with his country despite years of conflict.
South Sudan has been dogged by war for over four years, sparked by a fallout by President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar in December 2013.
Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup against his government, but the latter denied the allegations. Machar however went ahead to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.
The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, prompting the United Nations to rank the country as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis.
During the handover ceremony of the medical supplies, Chinese Ambassador in South Sudan He Xiangdong said medical personnel cannot be successful in their work if they are not fully equipped with medical supplies, equipment and the necessary tools.
“For that very reason, we have brought this assistance in order for doctors in South Sudan to have their own armaments to fight diseases amongst the citizens,” He said.
He reiterated China’s support for the South Sudanese government in areas including health, education and humanitarian assistance as it works towards peace.