Joburg forges links with Shanghai municipality
The City of Johannesburg was more than ready to cooperate with the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government on matters of common interest, City Manager Trevor Fowler said at the start of a two-day visit to Johannesburg by a high-profile Shanghai delegation yesterday.
Fowler was speaking at a luncheon to welcome the six-person delegation led by Han Weijun, the Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health at the Metro Centre in Braamfontein. Members of the delegation are in Johannesburg to explore issues of health cooperation between the two cities.
The other members of the Shanghai city delegation are Dr Qu Jieming, President of RuiJin Hospital at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s School of Medicine; Dr Zhou Hua, President of Shuguang Hospital at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine; Dr Liu Zhongmin, President of the Shanghai East Hospital; Dr Gu Jianying, Vice-President of Zhongshan Hospital at Fudan University; and Zhou Shanshan, Director of the General Office of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Senior Officials’ Healthcare.
The City of Joburg was represented by Fowler, Executive Director of Health Dr Refik Bismilla, Public Health Specialist Dr Baski Desai and Head of International Relations Thokozani Langa.
Also present was Gauteng Chief Director of Health Meisi Lerutla. In welcoming the guests, Fowler said he was hopeful their visit would further solidify existing relations between the two cities, which already have a memorandum of understanding.
“South Africa already has a solid relationship with China. It was only logical for both Shanghai and Joburg to share their experiences and compare notes,” said the City Manager.
Dr Bismilla said it was encouraging to see both cities “walking the same path in different countries”.
He added that the two cities were, to a certain extent, faced with similar challenges, such as HIV-Aids and an increase in non-communicable diseases. Speaking on behalf of his delegation, Han said the visit was the start of “deeper cooperation” between Johannesburg and Shanghai. He said he hoped the cooperation on health matters between the two cities would not only centre on western medicine but would also look at traditional medicine.
He said it was for this reason that Dr Zhou Hua, President of Shuguang Hospital at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, was one of the Shanghai delegates. The delegation is today (Thursday July 9) scheduled to visit Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Jabulani, both in Soweto.
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