Airtel Uganda on Wednesday confirmed that it will contribute 1.25 Billion Uganda shillings to the Ministry of Health in Uganda, primarily to support health workers on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.
As the number of confirmed cases in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) updates multiple times a day, health workers continue to fight the outbreak on the front lines and this puts them at risk of contracting the virus due to their close proximity to the most severe cases.
Airtel Uganda recognizes that without an influx of urgently needed protective equipment, more healthcare workers may fall ill, reducing the availability of care for patients. They are working in stressful environments, not just because the virus is little understood, but because in most settings they are under-protected and are themselves vulnerable to infection.
Commenting about the significant contribution, Mr. V.G. Somasekhar, the Airtel Uganda Managing Director said;
“Today, we announce our additional support for Uganda’s COVID-19 response through a contribution of 1.25 billion Uganda shillings, primarily focused on supporting our frontline health workers. Now more than ever, we all need to apply our capabilities to the needs of nurses, doctors, midwives and community health workers. At this moment of crisis, no country can cope with what they need alone. The private sector needs to mobilize resources, alongside National Governments, to fight the raging pandemic.”
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Health, the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng noted that “….This is an important partnership with Airtel in Uganda and demonstrates a real commitment to support our health workers who are battling day after day to defeat this pandemic. As individuals, members of the public should strictly follow the key hygiene measures and social distancing, to help flatten the curve of the epidemic, avoid overwhelming hospitals, and preserve access to healthcare.”
Airtel has already taken several steps to help mitigate the impact of social distancing on its customers during the coronavirus outbreak. These include:
• Guaranteeing network availability and stability by rolling out additional 50 sites during this period.
• Encouraging customers to embrace electronic transactions and the use cashless modes of payment by removing all the charges on all on-net P2P (person to person) transactions, Bank to Wallet transactions, Airtel Money Pay and Wallet to Bank transactions.
• Free SMS Broadcasts by the Ministry of Health on COVID-19.
• Creating a Call Centre, within the Airtel Call Centre, for the Ministry of Health COVID-19 related calls and inquiries.
• Zero-rating the website for Ministry of Health, World Health Organization and many other websites where the public can access information from relevant authorities on the Pandemic as well as education websites to enable students get free access to education materials while at home.
• Introducing Airtime cash back for Community champions through our ‘Kyakabi Be The Champion’ promotion to encourage subscribers to stay at home and share airtime digitally with their families and friends while standing a chance to earn 3% back.
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