By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Huawei Technologies in collaboration with Access Bank Plc and Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) has staked N50 million to support the drive for eradication of diseases in the country.
The move is part of efforts to complement Federal Government’s effort in achieving its malaria pre-elimination goals by 2020, tagged ‘Malaria-To-Zero’ initiative.
The donation, according to the company, is an innovative financing platform that seeks to galvanize private sector resources and capabilities for sustained support towards averting at least 1 million malaria cases and deaths in Nigeria.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, said the platform would integrate existing and new initiatives on eradicating malaria, and thus build synergies that produce impact far greater than what could be attained with fragmented efforts.
“While understanding that malaria is a completely preventable and treatable life-threatening disease which is responsible for significant loss of lives, especially of women and children globally”, Mr Wigwe noted.
He stressed: “Malaria claims more lives than HIV in Nigeria, not to talk of the impact in the entire workforce that we see on yearly basis. If we begin to quantify it, the entire private sector will appreciate the need for us to fight malaria to zero.”
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Technologies, Mr Frank Li, restated its commitment to promotion of health and education of new innovation.
Mr Li, who spoke through the Head, Enterprise Sector, Mr Ade Kehinde, expressed optimism on the ‘Malaria-To-Zero’ initiative, stating that its company would leverage on new technology to fight against malaria in the country.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PHN, Dr Muntaqa Sadiq, noted that the initiative is significant to the theory of change, which targets the fundamental root cause of malaria disease.
“There are a number of areas that we have identified particularly around leveraging private sector capabilities to support the health system to avert malaria.
“What is different about the initiative is the fact that it would help to invest in facilitating manufacturing of insecticide treated nets, enhancing research and evidence base capacity, such that we have local capacity and local talents would solve our biggest healthcare challenges particularly around malaria,” he explained.
He added that, “Also there are number of proven cost effective interventions that these resources can help to increase, which include indoor residual spraying, seasonal chemoprophylaxis and other proven interventions that we know will help to save lives.
Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Dr Jide Idris, commended the initiative, stating that the state government is willing to partner with private sector in achieving a malaria-free Lagos and consequently a malaria-free Nigeria.
Mr Idris, who was represented by Director of Disease Control, Lagos Ministry of Health, Dr Eniola Erinosho, said the state anticipates the assistance of private sector in driving social market and franchise to eliminate malaria.
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