United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is in partnership with Africell Sierra Leone, the country’s leading mobile communication company through a memorandum signed between the two institutions last Friday.
The partnership aims at ensuring zero tolerance on maternal deaths, gender-based violence and all harmful practices as well as enhancing the need for family planning services for the people of Sierra Leone.
UNFPA is a UN sexual and reproductive health agency, working in more than 150 countries and territories that are home to the vast majority of the world with a mission to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every child is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
The two institutions jointly develop the strategy to target literate and low literate subscribers with SMS and voice messages respectively.
With this strategy, the two institutions hope that every subscriber could access and understand the messages on the aforementioned services.
It is also a campaign to give information to women and girls about GBV, sexual and reproductive health services.
It targets at least 600,000 subscribers in Freetown with voice calls and text messages on COVID-19, maternal health, family planning, GBV at no cost to subscribers.
In making this strategy possible, UNFPA worked with government and UN partners in Sierra Leone to develop the message contents; customise them into accessible local language and recorded voice messages.
Dr Kim Eva Dickson is the UNFPA Country Representative in Sierra Leone and was present at the MOU signing ceremony.
She was delighted that the partnership was a success and a reality.
“UNFPA embraces innovative approaches to ensure that communities are reached with much needed sexual and reproductive health information and services. We particularly welcome this public private partnership with Africell SL during COVID-19 pandemic,” she expressed appreciation.
Dr Dickson also said it was extremely important for women and girls to continue access free family planning and maternal health services.
“We will make all effort to gender-based violence as this pandemic rages,” she stressed.
In his statements during the ceremony, Chief Executive Officer for Africell SL, Mr Shadi Gerjawi said he was pleased to partner with UNFPA to roll out the impressive initiative designed to reach women and girls with vital information.
“Africell places premium on the importance of a healthy nation. Therefore, we believe that if the right information is constantly emphasised and communicated, it creates a paradigm shift in perception and behaviour,” Africell CEO expressed hope.
Africell is an African mobile technology company that provides fast, low cost and reliable network coverage and related value-added technology services to millions of individuals, communities and business in four vibrant African countries.
Africell is the market leading operator in Sierra Leone and the Gambia and is a vibrant challenger in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Africell, as a disruptor, is keen to challenge inefficiencies, embraces fresh thinking and deliver innovative products and services which make a practical difference to people every day.
Corporate social responsibility, positive community impact as well as entrepreneurial spirit and transparent business activities make Africell the ideal mobile network provider for Africa’s future.