Africell Mobile Company, one of Sierra Leone’s leading telecoms company has donated large quantity of medical equipment to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to forestall the spread of the deadly Corona Virus in the country.
The donation is not only part of Africell’s corporate philanthropy but also a response to government’s enhanced public health and safety measures to prevent the country from recording a case of Corona Virus.
The Corona Virus first broke out in China almost four months back and spread fast to other countries. It has taken a huge a death toll in Europe and Asia.
Guinea and Liberia, Sierra Leone’s neighbouring countries have recorded cases of the Virus. Sierra Leone is yet to record a case, but fear continues to rise.
Joe Abass Bangura is Africell’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.
During the donation ceremony, Bangura commended MoHS for their proactive strategy against the virus.
“Before the President’s announcement, the MoHS has begun rolling out a raft of COVID-19 preventive measures more than a month ago,” Bangura said.
He also made reference to the series of donations made to government during the Ebola epidemic.
The Chief Corporate Affairs Officer also spoke about the interventions Africell would embark on in preventing the Corona Virus spread.
The first area, according to Bangura, is the continued donations of quantities of medical boots, protective clothing, protective goggles, Surgical Masks and Gloves to ensure the safety of health workers.
Africell has also given up one of its customer Service posts to host the Lungi Airport Corona Response Center.
The center, according to the Corporate Affairs Officer, would be used to coordinate response effort at the airport since it remained closed to all commercial flights.
Since congested areas are places of contracting the Corona Virus considering its contagious nature, electronic money has been adopted for all financial transactions as a means of social distancing.
In a bid to reduce face-to-face
interactions, Africell has announced the removal of all charges on an all Person-to-Person and Wallet-to-Bank transactions for the next 90 days.
Bangura thus urged Africell subscribers to activate their Afrimoney accounts to start their financial transactions electronically.
It is hoped that benefit would be realised from the free charges and limiting their person- to-person interaction, keeping themselves and their families safe throughout the health risk period. .
Almost invariably, alongside its Media Partner AfriRadio, the mobile network operator pledged to launch a Radio Public Information Campaign program on the Corona Virus response.
The program will be aired from 7pm-8pm on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s and scaled up to a full weekday program as necessary.
Similar to the ‘Join Han for Dreb’ Ebola radio program in 2014, the program will be simulcast on all AfriRadio
frequencies in key cities and towns in the Country; providing the latest updates on the response from the MoHS and its partners driving the needed behavioural change among the populace.
The program is set to go on until the current threat posed by the Corona Virus is neutralized. “Africell has a representation in the joint MoHS-MIC COVID-19 Communications Committee,” Bangura said.
“We look forward to working with MoHS and its partners on other relevant areas critical to the management of COVID-19 Pandemic response,” he assured.
Bangura also appealed to Sierra Leoneans to comply with the directives and measures announced by the Ministry and WHO.
“Like we defeated Ebola, together, we can work to defeat the Corona Virus,” he expressed hope.
On behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Amara Jambai commended Africell for the kind gesture in supporting the government and people of Sierra Leone, adding that the said items would be used judiciously. The Corona virus, Jambai says, is deadly and needs concerted effort for its prevention.
He reiterated that Africell Mobile Company has demonstrated their commitment to the fight against the Corona Virus and called on other institutions to emulate the good steps of Africell Mobile Company.