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WMD 2023: Global partnerships, investments save 12m lives from malaria deaths –Dangote, UN Malaria Ambassador

Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group and UN Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria

*Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group and UN Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria, on the occasion of this year’s World Malaria Day urges all stakeholders to work together to decimate malaria that has brought untold human suffering with the economic toll on global productivity

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the World Malaria Day (WMD) is marked globally, Alhaji Aliko Dangote President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group and United Nations’ (UN) Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria,  has urged joint actions by all stakeholders globally, towards achieving the collective goal of the disease elimination by 2030.

Dangote made this call in his recent World Malaria Day statement titled, “With Urgent Investment, Innovation and Implementation, Zero Malaria Spread is Possible”.

The UN Malaria Ambassador also urged all stakeholders must work together to decimate malaria, which he said had brought untold human suffering with the economic toll of the disease on global productivity.

He advocated that urgent investment, innovation and implementation by such stakeholders would help to curtail malaria spread wherever the disease is found around the world.

Dangote further stated: “More than ever, we must collaborate to ensure that no child or person dies of malaria or loses another day to this debilitating illness again.

“We must also drive further progress towards malaria elimination in Nigeria and Africa at large by focusing on three key areas to ensure that malaria elimination remains high on Nigeria’s public health and development agenda;

“Advocate at all levels to ensure sufficient funding to sustain the progress made so far, as we jointly seek to end malaria for good and encourage private sector leaders to implement malaria prevention and treatment programmes in their companies, as we do across our businesses in the Dangote Group.”

The President/CE of Dangote Group disclosed that since 2000, global partnerships and investments in the fight against malaria had yielded positive results by preventing some two billion malaria cases, saving 11.7 million lives and putting eradication within reach.

96 percent of malaria deaths occurred in 29 countries, says Dangote

He, however, lamented that 96 percent of malaria deaths globally, were found in 29 countries, with Nigeria sadly among the four countries which accounted for over half of all malaria deaths 2021 worldwide.

According to Dangote, the 2023 World Malaria Day has presented an opportunity to galvanise global efforts towards advocacy and sustained political will and investments aimed at ending the scourge of the disease.

The UN Malaria Ambassador, therefore, expressed his readiness to lead the way.

Aliko Dangote Foundation to strengthen stakeholder engagement

The statement noted he  pledged that his Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) would further strengthen its engagements with the various key stakeholders in “Nigeria and globally to support the efforts to address malaria in our workplaces, communities, and especially high burden areas to attain our collective goal of malaria elimination by 2030.”

The philanthropist as well stressed that donors have pledged billions of Dollars at the historic Global Fund Replenishment meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2022, to boost the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria.

But he expressed regret that an unprecedented shortfall of over 50 percent in global malaria funding is now holding countries back from maintaining life-saving malaria programmes, despite the historic pledge.

Consequently, the Malaria Ambassador said the funding gaps had  contributed to the declining progress in the countries with the highest burden of malaria.

Dangote said: “Countries will not reap the rewards of these investments without further commitment to scaling up and rolling out these innovations where they are needed most.”

For Africa to move forward, he stated “the continent has to get rid of malaria once and for all.” , According to him, “now is the time to take a decisive action to deliver on our goal of zero malaria, spur overall development and achieve the 2030 targets.”

Dangote also urged the stakeholders the theme of this year’s World Malaria Day: “Time to Deliver Zero Malaria: Invest, Innovate, implement”, highlighted the need for urgent action and further investments to ensure existing investments deliver maximum impact in the fight to end malaria.

The Dangote Group Chief said: “As a United Nations (UN) Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria, I would like to add my voice to the global call on governments and partners around the world to: Invest more in malaria programmes to bridge critical funding gaps and accelerate progress towards the total elimination of malaria; “Innovate further to deliver improved solutions to end malaria that are tailored to those who need them most and Implement national strategies to accelerate progress against this age-old disease, by demonstrating leadership, adopting innovative and sustainable approaches, and scaling up national malaria programmes to deliver lifesaving tools to those at highest risk.”

NAFDAC’s regulatory contribution

Dangote acknowledged the positive efforts of the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as the second national drug regulator to approve the use of the R21 vaccine.

The statement noted he said the fight against the malaria scourge had been buoyed by the introduction of the new malaria vaccine -R21/Matrix-M, which was developed by the University of Oxford and would be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

He further affirmed: “As we look forward to its rollout soon.

“All efforts must be made to sustain the adequate sourcing and application of this innovative vaccine in the fight against malaria; akin to the noble efforts made to ensure the eradication of polio in Nigeria and Africa.”

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