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Published On: Mon, Aug 18th, 2014

Dangote boosts Nigeria’s ebola response with N152. 95m donation

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DangoteBy Etuka Sunday

Nigeria’s effort to combat the spread of the deadly Ebola virus has received considerable support from businessman philanthropist, Aliko Dangote, with the announcement of          N152, 956, 250.00 from Dangote Foundation for the establishment of a National Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at Yaba, Lagos.

The EOC is a key part of Nigeria’s response to the outbreak of Ebola on its shores. It is headed by Dr Faisal Shuaib, a US trained public health expert with extensive international experience. It serves as the engine room of the national response, providing the coordinating mechanism for prevention, surveillance, patient care, tracking, data analysis and containment of the spread of the virus.  It also facilitates the coordination of partners, serving as a platform to link to the medical community across the country and also internationally, especially with the countries also battling the virus in West Africa.

The Minister of Health, Dr. C.O. Onyebuchi Chukwu noted that, ‘the Ebola EOC ensures that government continues to provide the necessary leadership and a transparent platform for the coordination and collaboration which are essential for us to stay on top of this crisis.’  Dr Chukwu said.  ‘We are delighted that Alhaji Aliko Dangote has once again stood up to be counted when it matters.’

‘The national response to the unfortunate outbreak of Ebola in our country has been impressive. The few cases of Ebola Virus Disease, all contracted from the index case, are confined to one state only,’ Aliko Dangote said. ‘This is a period of national health emergency and government’s comprehensive containment strategy requires the support of all Nigerians to succeed. We have therefore decided to lend our support to the effort. The Ebola EOC is an important innovation that will strengthen our health system, even long after this particular health crisis has abated.’

Aliko Dangote also called on Nigerians to be careful about their personal hygiene and not to be shy to approach health providers if they, or anyone near them, portrays symptoms of the disease.

‘We encourage all well-meaning Nigerians to support government as the country rallies to combat the Ebola virus,’ Dangote said. ‘Our support is in line with our Foundation’s goal to improve the wellbeing of all Nigerians.’

Dr. Rui Gama Vaz, the WHO Country Representative for Nigeria, underscored ‘Nigeria’s speedy detection of the index case, the immediate declaration of the outbreak, mounting a comprehensive containment strategy and plan supported by the Emergency Operation Centre in Lagos. We strongly believe that the EOC will have a tremendous impact in coordinating partners and pillar teams in their epidemic response work.’

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