GENEVA, May 21 -- China, Tanzania's semi-autonomous region Zanzibar and the World Health Organization (WHO) signed on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding regarding the prevention and treatment of schistosomiasis in Zanzibar.
The tripartite agreement aims to map out strategic plans for eradicating schistosomiasis in Zanzibar.
According to the memo, China will be furnishing Zanzibar with money as well as medical expertise and the WHO will oversee coordination for the project.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, Vice Minister of China's National Health and Family Planning Commission Wang Guoqiang, and Zanzibar Minister of Health Juma Duni Haji inked the deal in the Palace of Nations in Geneva.
Wang said the co-funding of the health project would greatly streamline the process of work, and that China would be keen to offer expertise, supplies and technologies in fields that it's most experienced in, to help lift the health conditions in Africa.
Zanzibar is still plagued by chronic diseases like schistosomiasis. In 2012, the number of people needed prevention treatment for schistosomiasis stood at at least 249 million around the globe, of whom more than 90 percent lived in Africa.
Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharziasis, is group of chronic disorders caused by small, parasitic flatworms. It gives rise to multiple inflammations to the intestines, bladder, liver and other organs. Severe cases would even lead to tumor. It is probably the second most serious parasitic infection that affects human being, next to malaria.