Dangote Foundation pledges $3m to fight Ebola

By The Citizen

The Dangote Foundation has pledged to donate $3m to a fund established by the African Union to contain the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa.

The President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote made the pledge on behalf of the Foundation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during a meeting with some AU business leaders.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday by the Dangote Foundation.

The AU Ebola Fund was set up in response to the African Union Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Zuma's call for $30m from Africa's private sector to support the efforts of the AU in containing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

According to the statement, the funds would be used to send 1,000 African health workers, such as doctors, epidermiologists, nurses and lab technologists to join ongoing efforts to stop the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Inadequacy of professional and trained health workers has been identified as the key factor limiting the Ebola containment efforts in the three countries.

The statement said Aliko Dangote commended the business leaders for their speedy response to the AU's call. He also encouraged more business leaders and the general public to contribute to the Fund.

Dangote said, 'Ebola continues to devastate and take away lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There must be no let-up in urgently matching solidarity and moral support with faster and more strategic actions. None of us can sleep easy until Ebola is contained.

'I want to use this opportunity to thank every one of you around the world for playing heroic roles. I commiserate with the families of your colleagues who have made the supreme sacrifice while fighting Ebola. I thank and applaud all the African volunteers who will be part of the AU initiative.

'We need to appreciate all those working on the frontlines to contain Ebola- the healthcare workers, those tracking and tracing contacts, those ensuring that Ebola victims received dignified burials and others.

The Dangote Foundation said the funds would be administered by the African Development Bank.

The statement partly read, 'The funds will enable the immediate deployment of medical personnel to the three affected countries. The business leaders present at the meeting agreed to encourage their colleagues to contribute to the fund and support the AU.'