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Why Are Africans Worried About the Quality of Chinese-made COVID-19 Medical Supplies? And What to Do About It

The first lady of the Republic of Congo, Antoinette Sassou-N'guesso receives a donation of COVID-19 PPE at the Chinese embassy in Brazzaville on July 1, 2020. Photo via @chinaembcongobz.

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a wave of donations and exports of Chinese-made medical products around the world, including in Africa. And while in many cases these much-needed supplies were met with gratitude, in both social and traditional media in Africa, concerns were raised about the quality of the Chinese products.

Many of these fears, such as the worry that Chinese products were contaminated with the virus, were totally unsubstantiated. However, the general concern about the quality of China’s medical supplies taps into broader-term unease in Africa about the standard of Chinese products shipped to the continent.

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