China hands over hospital to Ethiopia

Updated: 2011-11-18 07:40

(China Daily)

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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - China on Wednesday handed over the Tirunesh-Beijing Ethio-China Friendship Hospital to Ethiopia in a ceremony held in the presence of Jiang Yaoping, vice-minister of commerce, in Akaki, around 25 km south of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The state-of-art hospital named after Tirunesh Dibaba, an Ethiopian female athlete who won two gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was built by the Chinese government at a cost of 80 million yuan ($12.7 million) to promote Sino-Ethiopian friendship.

Jiang and Kebede Worku, Ethiopian health minister, signed the certificate marking the handover of the project in the presence of diplomats and government officials from the two sides.

Kebede said the hospital is a symbol of the strong, dynamic and blossoming partnership between the governments of Ethiopia and China.

The minister added that the friendship between the two countries has gone from strength to strength, particularly over the past decade.

"I wish to take this opportunity to express our profound appreciation of the huge investments being made by the Chinese people and government in support of our accelerated development efforts in so many areas," he said.

"In the health sector in particular, we are very grateful for the exceptional commitment of our Chinese partners in helping to build our human resources and capacities through the transfer of knowledge, skills and technologies which are helping accelerate our determined efforts to build up our health system and expand service delivery."

Fully equipped with modern and high-tech medical equipment, and complete with 100 beds, the hospital will start operations with a dedicated team of 15 Chinese medical professionals who will work alongside Ethiopian professionals, said Kebede.

"The name of the hospital well reflects the deep friendship between the governments and people of China and Ethiopia," said Jiang.

According to Li Zonggen, deputy manager of China Jiangxi International Economic and Technical Cooperation Corporation, the hospital will bring great convenience to local people, offering them improved access to high-quality healthcare.