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Dangote collaborates with FG to fight malaria

By The Citizen
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Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, says that the active participation of the private sector is vital to eliminating malaria in the country by 2020.

A statement by the company on Monday in Lagos noted that Dangote said this during the Private Sector Engagement Strategy against Malaria (PSESM) launched by the Dangote Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Health.

The statement quoted Dangote as saying 'the private sector can play vital role in mobilising domestic resources, capabilities, innovation and advocacy platforms geared toward catalyzing progress in achieving the country's malaria pre-elimination agenda.'

He said that the country's transition from malaria control to elimination necessitated a compelling opportunity for public private partnerships to reduce malaria.

He added that 'indirectly, malaria damages the economy through the deterioration of human capital, loss in saving, investments and tax revenues.

'This is clearly too high of a cost to society and to the economy.'

The business mogul said that in his bid to drive the malaria elimination campaign, he co-founded the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria with its Board to focus on malaria.

He explained that the Board also focused on mobilising a coordinated platform for the private sector to leverage their capabilities, innovation and resources to complement government's efforts in advancing health sector.

According to him, the board members include Mr Bill Gates, Mr Jim Ovia, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Mr Herbert Wigwe, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate and Mrs Sola David-Borha.

Dangote added that he would continue to support advocacy against malaria elimination, stressing that

he recently accepted an invitation from Bill Gates and Ray Chambers to join them on the End Malaria Council.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that collaboration between government and the private sector was imperative to produce malaria medications locally.

'Collaboration with Organised Private Sector has become imperative, given that only 30 million insecticide treated nets are used in Nigeria yearly and over 80 per cent of the anti-malaria medicines in the country are imported.

'Government alone cannot succeed without the assistance of the corporate firms, hence the need to look inward and get the medications manufactured locally.

'We need discipline and efficiency in the local production of the medicine because that can generate employment in the country.'

The minister, however, added that over 100 million Long Lasting Treated Nets were distributed in the last seven years to protect over 28 million of 33 million households in the country. (NAN)