Coronavirus: Dangote Foundation pledges N200m to support FG

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The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has pledged N200 million to support the Federal Government’s effort at containing the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Nigeria.

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

Youssoufou said 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.

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

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

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

She said the foundation supported 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.

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

She said 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 (WHO) certified Personal Protective Equipment against Ebola, and also donated three million dollars to support Africa Union’s intervention against Ebola in West Africa.

She said complete logistics support for the returnee volunteers on Ebola intervention across countries ravaged by Ebola was provided by the foundation.

Also Speaking, Kathleen Whimp, World Bank Operations Manager, identified four thematic areas to tackling the spread of Covid-19.

Whimp said the areas are regular communication with the public, contact tracing, training of volunteers and international cooperation.

Commenting, Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, John Oladejo, 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 Covi-19 outbreak in the country,” he said.

Covid-19 was first reported in Wuhan China on December 31, 2019, and has since spread to 64 other countries. On February 28, Nigeria confirmed its first case of the disease, 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 February 25 from Milan, Italy for a brief business visit. The index case was confirmed on February 27, and is presently being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.