Dangote bags national award in Niger Republic for health interventions
The President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, has been conferred with the Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger award by President of the Republic of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, in Niamey.
According to the certificate of conferment presented to Dangote in Niamey, the nation’s capital, the award was in appreciation for his services rendered to the country as well as a tribute to his business acumen and philanthropy.
His foundation, Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has intervened in several ways to improve healthcare and routine immunisation in Niger and neighbouring countries like Cameroon and Chad.
Recall that Dangote had earlier been conferred with the Commander of the National Order of Valour of the Republic of Cameroon, and the Grand Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Benin.
In a related development, Aliko Dangote Foundation, alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Niger on a collaboration for improving the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Diffa, Maradi and Zinder regions, which are along the country’s southern border with Nigeria.
The Nigerien national award by the president is in recognition of the various health-related interventions by Dangote’s foundation, including financial support to the tune of $500,000 to help fight Meningitis and cholera outbreak; N250 million for the provision of food for refugees and displaced persons and $1 million support for enhanced routine immunisation in the three identified regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder.
The three regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder share a common border with Northern Nigeria and together make up almost 28 per cent of Niger’s land area and about 40 per cent of the country’s population.
Speaking on the MoU, which was signed in May 2022, Managing Director of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, stated that “ADF is committing $1 million over three years; BMGF are providing $2 million, while GAVI is bringing in $10 million worth of vaccines under this MoU. ADF and BMGF are bringing in the money required to stimulate demand for the vaccines that GAVI is bringing in to ensure maximum uptake and coverage.”
The objective of the MoU is to collaborate on strengthening vaccination in Niger to improve the delivery of routine vaccine services in the three regions in order to achieve full vaccination coverage of 90 per cent of the target population by December 2024; to ensure that at least 90 per cent of districts achieve 90 per cent Penta 3 vaccination coverage; to vaccinate 90 per cent of the zero doses identified; to stop poliovirus transmission and maintain polio-free status; and to ensure consistent national funding and procurement of vaccines in order to secure a sustained and steady supply of all routine vaccines throughout the country.