Delivery is part of the allocation from the African Union (AU) Vaccination Programme in collaboration with MTN
The Nigerian government has taken delivery of the first set of 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of a total of 1.4 million doses designated for Nigeria by the AU. The vaccines are a combination of doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility, and from the African Union’s (AU) COVID-19 vaccination programme, towards which the MTN Group contributed $25 million. The vaccines will be distributed amongst health workers in Nigeria by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
Commenting on the vaccines, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Director-General of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) said, “On behalf of health care workers in Nigeria, we commend the efforts of the Nigerian government and the African Union in the fight against COVID-19, and we thank MTN for their collaboration. The arrival of these vaccines is a major step, as we try to stay ahead of the virus. We need all the collaboration we can get, and I implore more organisations to join this drive for the Nigerian people.”
Also Speaking, Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu expressed appreciation on behalf of the government. “The donation of COVID-19 vaccines is truly helpful, and we are grateful. We can only succeed against COVID-19 when we fight together. These vaccines will go a long way in protecting health workers, who are on the frontline, and need all the protection they can get at this critical moment, hence the prioritisation of their vaccinations.”
Expanding on the power of partnership and collaboration, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola said, “I thank the Nigerian government and the African Union for the opportunity they granted MTN to collaborate and contribute towards the delivery of these vaccines. The ongoing threat of COVID-19 requires a vast and accelerated effort by both the private and public sectors. Partnerships like this practically demonstrate what can achieved when we work together for Africa’s (and indeed Nigeria’s) progress. We are truly privileged to have been able to play our part in contributing towards government’s efforts to protect and save lives.”
At the start of the pandemic , MTN Nigeria collaborated with government to curb the spread of the virus, in large part via the introduction of MTN’s Y’ello Hope platform. Y’ello Hope encompasses a broad range of interventions and programmes valued at approximately N25 billion, that are designed to offer relief where it is needed most. These are aimed at supporting Nigeria’s people, customers, communities, and the various levels of government.
Through Y’ello Hope the company provided free-to-access services (including SMS and data) to the most vulnerable, facilitated zero-rated access to healthcare websites, deployed the ‘Wear-it-for-me’ campaign to help create awareness around the importance of wearing masks, and made a N1 billion donation to the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 CACOVID).
In addition, the MTN Foundation delivered more than 70,000 pieces of essential Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria, through MTN’s collaboration with its key partners, is another step taken as part of the Y’ello Hope platform, and MTN will continue to seek out ways to make a meaningful difference in Nigeria.
Airtel Nigeria Partners AXA Mansard on Mobile Health Insurance Via USSD
Airtel Nigeria and leading service provider in the healthcare sector, AXA Mansard, have announced a strategic partnership to deepen access, participation and enrolment in health insurance for more Nigerians.
The partnership by Airtel and AXA Mansard is in response to the Federal Government’s goal, through the National Health Insurance Scheme, to provide easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians by leveraging on the USSD channel, an easy-to-use and interactive platform.
By dialing the short code, *987*7#, Airtel customers can now conveniently enroll for affordable and robust health insurance plans from AXA Mansard, with access to over 1,000 hospitals nationwide for quality healthcare services.
Commenting on Airtel’s partnership with AXA Mansard, head, Mobile Financial Services, Airtel Nigeria, Muyiwa Ebitanmi said the mobile health insurance initiative demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to providing innovative and relevant solutions that will empower more Nigerians to conveniently access best-in-class health insurance value offerings.
“Airtel Nigeria is always exploring innovative ways and platforms that will make life easier, more meaningful and more enjoyable for Nigerians. With this initiative, we are not just delivering bespoke health insurance services to the doorstep of more people, we are also leading a quiet revolution that will drive and deepen health insurance inclusion by removing the many barriers that have hitherto excluded many well-meaning Nigerians from participating in the sector.”
Speaking about the initiative, head, Emerging Customers and Digital Partnerships Group at AXA Mansard, Mr. Alfred Egbai, stated that “our research has shown the value and importance of having a health insurance plan to the public especially for the emerging customers in the country, but for many reasons, the uptake of insurance products has been low”.
He continued, “In order to mitigate these challenges and satisfy the health needs of the retail consumer whilst also encouraging the uptake of health insurance in the country, we have partnered with Airtel Nigeria to provide a solution that gives users a convenient way to purchase and manage their AXA Mansard micro-insurance plans.
Malaria Cover, Inpatient, Outpatient, Specialist medical consultations, Immunizations, Family planning, Ambulance services, Dental care and more are some of the covers provided in the AXA Mansard Health plans.
The challenges to the implementation of health insurance schemes hitherto include low level of awareness, affordability, ineffective distribution systems and inefficient payment models. The partnership between Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard is aimed at solving these challenges and assisting Nigerians to access a viable Health Insurance Scheme.
Airtel Nigeria, as a socially responsible organization, will continue to partner with Industry leaders to bring products and services that will touch the lives of its subscribers in very positive ways.
Mastercard Foundation, Africa CDC Invest $1.3 Billion On New Vaccination Drive
The MasterCard Foundation has announced that it will deploy $1.3 billion over the next three years in partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa and hasten the economic recovery of the continent.
The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development, and strengthen the Africa CDC.
Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation said, “Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent. In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy,” she added.
The African Union’s goal as set out in the African COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy is to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population – approximately 750 million people or the entire adult population of the continent – by the end of 2022. To date, less than two percent of Africans have received at least one vaccine dose.
The new partnership builds on the efforts of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX), the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and the global community to expand access to vaccines across Africa. The number of vaccines available to Africa represents a small portion of the global supply and the financial costs to purchase, deliver, and administer vaccines remain significant. The Africa CDC is calling on governments, global funders, the private sector, and others to help meet this goal.
Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC said, “Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it’s the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future. This partnership with the MasterCard Foundation is a bold step towards establishing a New Public Health Order for Africa, and we welcome other actors to join this historic journey.”
In 2020, Africa faced its first economic recession in 25 years due to the pandemic. The African Development Bank has warned that COVID-19 could reverse hard-won gains in poverty reduction over the past two decades and drive 39 million people into extreme poverty in 2021. Widespread vaccination is recognized as being critical to the economic recovery of African countries.
The initiative builds on an earlier collaboration between the MasterCard Foundation and the Africa CDC to expand access to testing kits and enhance surveillance capacity in Africa. Through the Foundation’s support, the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) deployed nearly two million COVID-19 tests and more than 12,000 trained health care workers and rapid responders across Africa. In total, the PACT has enabled over 47 million COVID-19 tests across the continent.
Health Minister Lauds 9mobile for Recognizing Frontline Health Workers
The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has lauded 9mobile for its support in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.He gave the commendationat the Health Workers recognition event, organized by the telco to celebrate health workers at the National Hospital, Abuja, at the weekend.
Speaking at the event, the minister, who was represented by the Director of Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi (mni), stated that the gesture by 9mobile to celebrate frontline health workers by recognizing and rewarding the most outstanding health worker would go a long way to boost the morale of the recipient as well as other health workers.
“The award recipient of today is just one of the many who are spread across the healthcare system doing their best wherever they find themselves, and the country and the health sector would always want more of them. I acknowledge 9mobile’s germane and enviable gesture. It is a resourceful partnership that the Federal Ministry of Health highly cherishes,” he stated.
Acknowledging the minister’s commendation, Director of Sales, 9mobile, Tosin Olulana, who represented the Acting Chief Executive Director of 9mobile, Juergen Peschel, reiterated the need to support the efforts of frontline health workers who constantly risk their lives to save others.
“At 9mobile,we have kept a tab on the remarkable progress made so far in curbing the spread of the virus in the country, which is primarily due to the resilience and steadfastness of frontline workers that have helped to stem the ugly tide. This is our way of showing support and appreciating all their efforts in ensuring the safety of the rest of us.”
For his part, the Chief Medical Director, National Hospital, Abuja, Dr.Jaf Momoh, who responded on behalf of the hospital management, remarked, “It is encouraging to know that organizations like 9mobile notice the efforts being made by health workers to give their best for the benefit of the society. We appreciate your team for deeming it fit to stop by to celebrate one of us; we are delighted about it. This will spur us to do more in the discharge of our duties.”
The recipient of the award, Dr. Abussamad Ayinde, expressed his delight and appreciation to 9mobile for shinning the spotlight on the sacrifices being made by health workers like him in the country. He said, “It gives me great joy to be recognized and appreciated for my little efforts in making society a better place for all. For me, this award and recognition is dedicated to all health workers in the country and particularly the management and staff of National Hospital Abuja for their encouragement and support. And to 9mobile, I am grateful for this honor done to me”.
Dr.Ayindeis an alumnus of the University of Ibadan, where he obtained his MBBS. He had his housemanship at the University College Hospital Ibadan before proceeding to the Federal Medical Centre Owerri for his one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He is a Fellow of the West Africa College of Physician, Faculty of Family Medicine.
During the 20th anniversary of National Hospital Abuja, he was awarded the Most Dedicated staff, Department of Family Medicine, and was given a certificate of commendation for volunteering to manage Covid-19 patients.
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