President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote as the Chairman of the 16-member End Malaria Council (EMC) during the Council’s inauguration on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja. The President said he picked Dangote as chair of the Council because of his track record for supporting initiatives regarding health issues such as polio and primary health care system strengthening.
According to President Buhari, “Malaria as we all know is an age-long disease and remains a major public health challenge in Nigeria. The World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2021 shows that Nigeria alone accounts for 27% of all cases of malaria and 32% of deaths globally.
“Malaria infection can cause severe disease and complication in pregnant women and lead to high rates of miscarriage. It is also responsible for a considerable proportion of deaths in infants and young children, with children under 5 years being the most vulnerable group affected. These are reasons why we must not relent in fighting malaria”.
The President also said that the eradication of malaria and its associated effects would save Nigeria from the economic burden of the disease totaling around N687bn in 2022 and N2trn by the year 2030.
President Buhari said, “I have been informed that the End Malaria Council has already been established in other African countries, in line with the African Union Assembly Declaration for Establishment of EMCs in Africa.
“EMCs have provided leadership, new funding, and innovation to enable these countries to stay on track to meet malaria burden reduction targets. I am optimistic that the setting up of the Nigeria End Malaria Council will do the same for Nigeria.
“I must add that with the additional advocacy and funding the Council will bring to the malaria control drive, we can anticipate a reduction in malaria burden that ensures that our children, pregnant women, indeed, all Nigerians are shielded from the disease”.
Members of the Council include Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekunmankama; Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe; Chairman, Board of Directors, UBA, Tony Elumelu; CEO, Rose of Sharon Group, Folorunsho Alakija; CEO, Forte Oil, Femi Otedola, amongst others.