Scientists from China and Kenya on Tuesday pledged to establish a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise to boost the war against infectious diseases.

The Scientists, who spoke at an inaugural Sino-Kenyan symposium on infectious diseases, said joint research, training and technology transfer is key to enhancing prevention and management of ailments caused by pathogens.

“We look forward to strategic partnership with Kenyan scientists who are conducting research on emerging infectious diseases,” Shi Yi, Professor at Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Microbiology, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the symposium.

“This collaboration will enable us to share knowledge and expertise needed to fight infectious diseases like malaria, Ebola, HIV/AIDS and Marburg virus,” he added.

More than 40 Chinese and Kenyan scientists are attending the three-day symposium hosted by Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC).

Shi said the forum is a key component of science and technology partnership to enhance the fight against infectious diseases among countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

He said that Chinese scientists are keen to learn from their Kenyan counterparts effective strategies that can be adopted to eradicate infectious diseases that have worsened against a backdrop of climate change, habitat destruction and unregulated migration.

“The symposium marked the beginning of a journey of sharing knowledge and best practices between Chinese and Kenyan scientists working in the field of infectious diseases,” said Shi.

He said that collaborative research and technology transfer around infectious diseases is a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Juliette Ongus, an associate professor at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) that host the SAJOREC, said Kenya should leverage on cooperation with China in biomedical research to help reduce the burden of infectious diseases.

“Our collaboration with China is crucial to strengthen interventions required to eliminate infectious diseases,” Ongus said. “These interventions should focus on research, training alongside diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.”