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Access, Dangote rally support for N50b human virology research centre




Proposed plan to build a state-of-the-art human virology research centre worth of N50b received a boost, as the duo of Access Bank and Dangote Foundation pledged to support the project.

The project, being an initiative of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), is to enhance medical researches both in communicable and Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country.

Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, at the unveiling of the partnership, said that the focus of the project aligns with the banks’s objective of impacting lives and the planet.

Etuokwu observed that IHVN is a product of passion for the Nigerian people, especially against diseases ravaging the population, of which “no right thinking people will understand what they are doing and not be part of it.”

“We (Access) are not just a bank focused on financial advantage alone but we are also a responsible member of the society. It is our responsibility to benefit people and the planet. Any project that is trying to promote social well-being and better the planet, we will support,” he said.

He added that the bank would take a lead in drawing other corporate organisations to the project and to contribute at a fund-raising event.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, added that the project shares similarity with cardinal focus of Dangote Foundation, particularly the area of healthcare, to warrant the foundation’s support.

Explaining the vision of IHNV to the stakeholders, Chief Executive Officer, IHVN, Dr. Patrick Dakum, had earlier said that the new international centre is to leverage on achievements of IHVN in the last 10 years, providing quality laboratory support, prevention, care and treatment for people living with HIV and other infectious diseases.

Dakum recalled that through international donor funding, the institute had counseled and tested over 8.7 million people who now know their HIV status and can make informed choices about their lives. Enabled over 69,540 women living with HIV to give birth to HIV free children and help over 256,000 adults and 15,771 children with drugs for HIV to live positively with the disease.

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