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Aliko Dangote wants malaria gone by 2030

Dangote says investment, innovation and implementation by global players will help curtail malaria's spread.

Aliko Dangote is Africa's richest man and the United Nations' Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria [Tom Saater/TIME]

Dangote, also United Nations' Malaria Ambassador for Nigeria, said this in his World Malaria Day statement titled "With Urgent Investment, Innovation and Implementation, Zero Malaria Spread is Possible" on Tuesday.

According to him, all stakeholders must work together to decimate malaria, which has brought untold human suffering with the economic toll of the disease on global productivity.

He stressed that urgent investment, innovation and implementation by global players would help curtail its spread.

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Dangote said that since 2000, global partnerships and investments in the fight against malaria had yielded positive results by preventing some 2 billion malaria cases, saving 11.7 million lives and putting eradication within reach.

He, however, lamented that 96% 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 globally in 2021.

The business mogul stated that 2023 World Malaria Day (WMD) presented an opportunity to galvanise global efforts toward advocacy and sustained political will and investment to end the scourge.

Dangote, expressing his readiness to lead the way, pledged that Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) would further strengthen its engagements with the various key stakeholders to attain the collective goal of malaria elimination by 2030.

"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.

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"We must also drive further progress toward malaria elimination in Nigeria and Africa at large.

"This is by focusing on three key areas to ensure that malaria elimination remains high on Nigeria's public health and development agenda.

"We would continue to advocate at all levels to ensure sufficient funding to sustain the progress made so far, as we jointly seek to end malaria for good.

"We encourage private sector leaders to implement malaria prevention and treatment programmes in their companies, as we do across our businesses in the Dangote Group.

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

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He lauded 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.

Dangote stated further that as countries look forward to the malaria vaccine rollout, all efforts must be made to sustain its sourcing and application, akin to the noble efforts made to ensure the eradication of polio in Nigeria and Africa.

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