What a commendable act of generosity by a great philanthropist, Aliko Dangote who through his foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) pledged N200 million to support Federal Government’s effort at containing the spread of Covid-19 (CoronaVirus) in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Ms Zouera Youssoufou, in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos, said the donation was part of the Foundation’s cardinal objective. She also 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 are supporting include; surveillance and epidemiology- where facilities worth N36 million will be provided by the foundation to support government’s effort. She said that the foundation would also donate N48 million for case management and training of health workers.
Youssoufou recalled that the Aliko Dangote Foundation has been supportive in some national emergency cases. The foundation committed about N1 billion to the fight against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Africa. She said that 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.
However, 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 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.
Furthermore, the foundation also provided World Health Organization certified Personal Protective Equipment against Ebola, and also donated $3million 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.
Ms Kathleen Whimp, the Operations Manager of World Bank, identified four thematic areas to tackling the spread of COVID-19. She said the areas are; regular communication with the public, contact tracing, training of volunteers and international co-operations.
Dr John Oladejo, Director of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, commented on the 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 COVID-19 outbreak in the country,” he said.