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Dangote Foundation commits N906m to Ebola fight

THE Dangote Foundation has again offered to settle the cost of quarantining Nigeria’s returnee health volunteers from the Ebola ravaged West African countries.

The health workers arrived in the country after spending six months to tackle the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The foundation’s new initiative came after it spent over N900 million to fight the EVD in the continent.

The foundation, which has been playing a leading role in partnership with relevant authorities in the fight against the dreaded disease in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, is expending about N60 million on the accommodation of the 200 returning volunteers.

The Federal Government has acknowledged the enormous infrastructural and financial assistance rendered by the body in tackling the scourge of Ebola in Nigeria.

Director of Port Health Services, Ministry of Health Dr. Nasiru Sani Gwarzo lauded Dangote Foundation for its patriotic assistance, saying: “The intervention of the Dangote Foundation in the containment of the Ebola Virus is unprecedented in the history of intervention efforts in Nigeria by a single business entity”.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Prof. Abdulsalam Nasidi, said “the role of the Dangote in the containment of the Ebola disease is immeasurable.”

“We ran an emergency centre with virtually little or nothing. It was the Dangote Foundation that empowered our centre. I don’t have words to use. The foundation provided funds for procurement of facilities to run case management, infection, prevention, control and communication, which are the major response of disease control centre,” he said.

The Health Workers Team Leader, Dr. Joshua Olusegun Obasanya, said the Dangote Foundation has been supporting the volunteers financially and technically, adding that the foundation has been facilitating their integration back to the Nigerian society since their arrived the country on Sunday.

The foundation said the latest gesture was part of its commitment to continue to partner governments at all levels to ensure African countries are rid of preventable diseases.

After the outbreak of Ebola last year in Nigeria, the Dangote foundation contributed N153 million for the establishment of the National Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EEOC) in Yaba, Lagos and paid salaries of select staff and volunteers for six months.

Justifying the decision then, chairman of the foundation, Aliko Dangote, said: “The national response to the unfortunate outbreak of Ebola in our country has been impressive. We have, therefore, decided to lend our support to the effort. The Ebola EOC is an important innovation that will strengthen our health system, even long after this particular health crisis has abated.”

Also, in the heat of the spread of the virus in Liberia and Sierra-Leone, the foundation donated $3 million to the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust (AAEST). It was established by the African Union Commission headed by the AU chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to mobilise resources from the African private sector to fight the scourge of the Ebola Virus Disease in the three most affected West African countries – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra-Leone.

The Dangote Foundation is in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate Polio in Nigeria, a partnership that has succeeded in ensuring Polio cases in some Northern states have been reduced drastically.

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Posted By BOBRICKY On 07:59 Fri, 29 May 2015

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