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Dangote pledges N200m to fight against coronavirus

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Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has pledged N200 million to support federal government’s effort in containing the spread of coronavirus.

He made the donation through his foundation, the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF).

Zouera Youssoufou, ADF chief executive officer, said the donation is part of the foundation’s cardinal objective.

She 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.

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

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

The CEO said the foundation committed about N1 billion to the fight against Ebola virus in Africa.

She said the foundation supported the federal 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.

Speaking at the event, Kathleen Whimp, World Bank operations manager, identified four thematic areas to tackling the spread of coronavirus.

She said the areas include regular communication with the public, contact tracing, training of volunteers and international co-operations.

In his remark, John Oladejo, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) director of health emergency preparedness and response, highlighted challenges involved in containing the virus to include fake news, inadequate isolation centres, among others.

“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.

Nigeria recorded its first case of the disease on Friday, following the arrival of an Italian businessman from Milan, which has the highest rate of the infection in Europe.

The patient is presently being treated at the Infectious Disease hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

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