Dangote to support Liberia, Sierra Leone in fight against Ebola

By The Citizen

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has promised to assist Liberia and Sierra Leone in their fight against the scourge of Ebola virus ravaging the West African countries.

Dangote, according to BBC News report, called Presidents of the two countries and assured them of the determination of Dangote foundation to assist their countries.

'I spoke to the two Presidents today. First to the President of  Sierra-Leone and Liberia, sympathising with them on what has actually been going on in their countries and also to inform them that that they didn't hear from me all these while because I didn't want to call them without any form of support. .. In fact, what the two presidents told me they needed the most are well trained people who know exactly how to handle Ebola and luckily for us, we have 590 volunteers in the country who are well trained and ready to go to these countries as volunteers to assist them in training.'

Dangote said, though Nigeria has been certified free of Ebola, the country will not rest on its oars until the virus is permanently contained in the region. 'I think we have escaped the worst but we have to be very vigilant so that we don't become complacent, we are not going to really relax about it until our sister countries, Sierra Leone and Liberia are totally free of Ebola', he stressed.

Besides assisting the government financially, he said Dangote Foundation also bought 12 infrared machines to be fixed at all the airports aside other efforts in winning the war against Ebola.

He urged other wealthy Africans to be part of the struggle to free the region of Ebola.

Dangote said: 'Everybody should put hands on deck because we should not fold our arms and wait for the western world to come and take us out of our problems.  We have been saying that we don't want them to be giving us handouts… if we are busy making money here, when there are issues, we shouldn't run away from the issues, we should try to take part of our profits and ensure that we resolve the issues.'

Meanwhile, a statement issued by Liberia's' Executive Mansion, revealed that Dangote Foundation, would work closely with the Liberian Government to determine what assistance can be provided ranging from medical personnel other professional healthcare workers. The statement revealed that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the billionaire for his promised assistance and praised him for reaching out to the government and people of Liberia.

Liberia is among the countries worst hit by Ebola virus, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea. The country accounts for more than half of all the official Ebola deaths, estimated at more than 2,400.

Dangote Foundation and Wellcome Trust recently entered into a £40m investment in African research partnership with the Dangote Foundation, an African-based international philanthropic organisation, for Ebola research.

Dangote said: 'We are pleased to partner with a leading research organisation like the Wellcome Trust in tackling the deadly Ebola virus. The current Ebola crisis underlines the importance for institutions like ours to get involved in supporting medical research.'

The emergency Ebola initiative, which includes contributions from partner funders, will support research that can swiftly begin to investigate new approaches to treating, preventing and containing the disease, during the current epidemic in West Africa. It will also support research into the ethical challenges of testing experimental medicines during epidemics. Agency report