The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) yesterday pledged to support the current effort by the Nigerian government against CoronaVirus or Covid-19 with a whooping N200million.

The ADF’s intervention is considered the largest single donation by a corporate organization in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus since a foreigner was tested positive last month in Lagos.

It would be recalled that the Aliko Dangote foundation also committed about N1billion to the fight against the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Africa.

The foundation directly supported the Nigerian government’s Ebola containment efforts through strategic investments that built the resilience and strengthened Nigeria’s health system in a manner expected to endure beyond the Ebola crisis period.

Among others, the foundation during the Ebola crisis supported the FG through the followings: Provision of funding for the establishment of the National Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EEOC) in Yaba, Lagos; provision of 12 units of Thermal Cameras across Nigeria's International Airports with training for 160 staff/personnel of the Federal Ministry of Health, Port Health Services Department, on the use of the Thermal Cameras; provision of W.H.O-certified Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, against Ebola; donation of US $3 Million Donation to support Africa Union's intervention against Ebola in West Africa, and also complete logistics support for the returnee volunteers on Ebola intervention across countries ravaged by Ebola. 

President Muhammadu Buhari had then commended Mr. Aliko Dangote for what he described as “remarkable sacrifices in eradicating Ebola virus disease and polio in Nigeria.”

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Aliko Dangote Foundation Ms. Zouera Youssoufou who was represented by the Health and Nutrition Programme Officer Maryam Shehu-Buhari at a donor coordinating meeting in Abuja on Tuesday said the donation was part of the Foundation’s cardinal objective.

The Foundation is also the only and the wholly Nigerian donor that attended the meeting and made the monetary pledge.

To this extent, she said the Dangote Foundation has earmarked N124million that will support facilities to help prevent, assess and respond to health events at Point of Entry to ensure National Health Security.

Ms. Youssoufou said other areas the Foundation is supporting include surveillance and epidemiology where facilities worth N36million will be provided by the Foundation to support the government’s effort.

According to her, the ADF will also donate N48million for case management training of health workers.

Speaking at the meeting facilitated by the World Bank, the bank’s Country Director represented by the Operations Manager Ms. Kathleen Whimp identified four thematic areas to tackling the spread of COVID 19. These are Regular Communication with the public, contact tracing, training of volunteers and international co-operations.

Speaking also, the Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. John Oladejo said some of the challenges, going forwarded included lack of enough isolation centers, contact tracing, training of volunteers, international cooperation, fake news, and panic, among others.

Mr. Noel Chisaka of the Regional Disease Surveillance System Enhancement Project commended the Aliko Dangote Foundation for the contribution.

Other donors invited to the meeting include WHO, UNICEF, BMGF, RTSL, EU, USAID, US CDC, DFID, Public Health England, GIZ, JICA, Africa CDC, WAHO, PHI, MTN, Red Cross, IFRC and AFENET. 

According to reports, there are a total of 90,936 confirmed cases worldwide – although more than half of those (47,995) have already recovered.

The biggest numbers are still by far in mainland China (80,151), followed by South Korea (4,812), Italy (2,036) and Iran (1,501).

Japan has 274 confirmed cases, France 191, Germany 165, Spain 120, Singapore 108, US 106, and Hong Kong 100.

There are also cases in South America, Africa, and Australia.

The total death toll stands at 3,117 with 2,936 of those coming from China. The countries with the next highest numbers are Iran (66), Italy (52) and South Korea (29).

There have also been deaths in Japan, the US, France, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand

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