Coronavirus: Dangote pledges N200m to contain spread in Nigeria

Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has pledged N200 million to support the Federal Government’s effort at containing the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Chief Executive Officer, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Ms Zouera Youssoufou, in a statement, on Tuesday in Lagos, said the donation was part of the Foundation’s cardinal objective.

Youssoufou said that the foundation had earmarked N124 million to support facilities that would assist prevent, assess and respond to health events at Points of Entry to ensure National Health Security.

According to her, other areas the foundation is supporting include surveillance and epidemiology, where facilities worth N36 million will be provided by the foundation to support the government’s effort.

She said that the foundation would also donate N48 million for case management and training of health workers.

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Youssoufou recalled that the Aliko Dangote Foundation committed about N1 billion to the fight against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Africa.

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

According to her, the foundation during the Ebola crisis supported the government through provision of funding for the establishment of the National Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EEOC) in Yaba, Lagos.

She said that the foundation provided 12 units of Thermal Cameras across Nigeria’s International Airports with training for 160 staff of the Federal Ministry of Health, Port Health Services, on using cameras.

Youssoufou added that the foundation provided World Health Organisation certified Personal Protective Equipment against Ebola, and also donated three million dollars to support Africa Union’s intervention against Ebola in West Africa.

According to her, complete logistics support for the returnee volunteers on Ebola intervention across countries ravaged by Ebola was provided by the foundation.

Also Speaking, Ms Kathleen Whimp, World Bank, Operations Manager, identified four thematic areas to tackling the spread of coronavirus.

Whimp said the areas are; regular communication with the public, contact tracing, training of volunteers and international co-operations.

Commenting, Dr John Oladejo, Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said there existed challenges in battling the outbreak.

“Inadequate isolation centres, contact tracing, training of volunteers, international cooperation, fake news and panic, were some of the challenges facing coronavirus outbreak in the country,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan China on Dec. 31, 2019, and had since spread to 64 other countries.

Nigeria on Feb. 28 confirmed its first case of coronavirus, making it the third African country to confirm the virus.

The virus was brought into the country by an Italian citizen who entered Nigeria on Feb. 25 from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit.

The index case was confirmed on Feb. 27 and is presently being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

(NAN)

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