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In continuation of its efforts aimed at creating wider access to health care for less privileged Nigerians, Dangote Foundation at the weekend took free health care services to the door steps of the vulnerable and poor ones in Katsina state.
Thousands of ailing people, including sickly elderly and malnourished children alike trooped out to the General Hospital in Kankia Local Government area of the state, venue of the exercise and were treated free.
The free medical outreach in Katsina State include: Free consultations, medicines and minor operations; advocacy on health and nutrition to women; as well as training of interns and medical personnel who in turn would offer medical advises to the people.
The programme which was spearheaded by Dangote Foundation was in collaboration with the Katsina State Government; Give-Back Nigeria, a UK based Charity Organization and Gachi Development Foundation.
The state governor, Aminu Bello Masari, who flagged off the three-day medical services expressed appreciation to the Dangote Foundation and its collaborators for the gesture and described it as a service to humanity for which God would surely reward.
He explained the programmes being mapped out by his admninitsratiuon to tackle health care challenges among his people and said the Dangote Foundation has in no small measure assisted in quickening the health programme.
The governor urged other spirited organization to look in the direction of joining hands with government to ensure the poor also have access to quality health care services.
In her remark, the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Mrs. Zouera Youssouffou said the Foundation decided to sponsor the free medical outreach because the health sector is a critical part of the Foundation’s focus in contributing to the upliftment of the society and her people.
She stated that issues bordering on the health of Nigerians have always been of concern to Dangote Foundation and that was the reason it has been involved in all efforts at ensuring poor Nigerians also benefit from sound health care services.
“We were very active in the fight against the dreaded Ebola and jointly we defeated it. So also we mounted a lot of campaigns to see that polio was eradicated. We are happy that today, one year down the line no single case of polio has been recorded.
“This goes to show that collectively we can eradicate most of the disease ravaging our people if we deploy the will. We in Dangote Foundation believe that health is wealth, and economic activity can succeed when the people are sick”, Youssouffou noted while adding that the Foundation would continue to support Nigerian government and the new Katsina state administration.
Dr Shamsudeen Yahyah, a Director in the Ministry of Health of Katsina State, urged all the contributing agencies to try and sustain such gesture, adding that their support will go a long way in assisting the government in achieving its goals. He identified poverty, ignorant as the major causes of diseases in the Northern part of the country.
Speaking also Dr. Tasiu Suleiman Gachi, the Project Leader said he was impressed by the Dangote Group and other organizations.
It would be recalled that the new initiative was coming after the Dangote Foundation in association with Bill and Melinda Bates Foundation intervened in the fight against polio thus leading to the eradication of the disease with news that no case has been recorded in Nigeria in the last one year.
Over the years the Dangote Foundation has injected huge amount of money to the development of the health sector in the country. It is currently constructing N440million State-of-the-Art Theatre and Diagnostic Centre at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano.
The Foundation has also disbursed about 600million in the last three years on Routine Immunization and Primary Healthcare in Kano State alone, as well as the construction of 11 units of primary health care centres across 11 Local Governments.