Home » Nigerian president taps Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to head Nigeria End Malaria Council

Nigerian president taps Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to head Nigeria End Malaria Council

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Aliko Dangote

As part of the continuing efforts to eradicate malaria in Nigeria, which has long been a national public health issue for the country, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has named Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote as the chairman of the newly formed Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC).

“Eradicating malaria and its effects would save the country from the estimated economic burden of the disease, totaling about N687 billion in 2022 and N2 trillion by 2030,” Buhari said while inaugurating the NEMC in line with the African Union’s directive to open such councils across Africa.

The president charged the 16-member NEMC with improving the population’s quality of life, health, and well-being, and advancing the nation’s coordinated malaria strategy with the AU.

“With strong political commitment from leaders at all levels, our inauguration today will ensure that malaria elimination remains a priority on our agenda,” Buhari said. “Additionally, the EMC will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain our country’s progress and put us on a path to end malaria for good.”

The Nigerian president went on to state that the country accounts for 27 percent of all malaria cases and 32 percent of malaria deaths worldwide. He added that malaria infections also cause severe disease and complications in pregnant women, leading to high rates of miscarriage.

Dangote, whose manufacturing conglomerate Dangote Industries Limited has played a formative role in the growth and expansion of Nigeria’s industrial sectors, is set to champion the fight against malaria through the council.

Buhari explained that he chose Dangote because of his track record and passion for supporting public health issues, including polio and strengthening the primary health care system.

Nearly two weeks ago, Dangote received a national award from Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum for his health-related programs implemented through the Aliko Dangote Foundation, including a $500,000 grant to help fight a recent meningitis and cholera outbreak.

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