GENEVA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Delegates from the Gambia, Namibia, and Sierra Leone on Thursday thanked China at the ongoing 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) for its aid and support in their COVID-19 response.
China sent medical experts in late 2020 to the Gambia on a three-month mission to assist the West African country's fight against COVID-19, and Chinese entrepreneurs also donated medical supplies to the country during the early stage of the pandemic.
"Namibia is grateful to the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India, who are the first to donate vaccines to Namibia ... Namibia acknowledges the efforts of the COVAX Facility to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world who would otherwise not have access," said the Namibian delegate.
Namibia received the first batch of vaccines on March 17 from Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac as well as Covishield vaccines from India on March 20.
"Sierra Leone was fortunate to receive 240,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine generously donated by the People's Republic of China," said the country's Minister of Health and Sanitation Austin Demby.
Sierra Leone kicked off its mass vaccination campaign on March 15 after receiving vaccines from China, and AstraZeneca vaccines through the WHO-led COVAX Facility.
The 74th WHA continued on Thursday with delegates debating on subjects such as the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, treatments for cancer and rare diseases, action on patient safety, and antimicrobial resistance.
The assembly is scheduled to close on June 1.