Airtel Malawi Plc has joined the fight against COVID-19 by donating K104m to go towards the purchase of ventilators for hospitals.
In a press statement on Monday, Airtel Malawi says it is working with the COVID-19 Presidential Taskforce and the Ministry of Health to make sure that frontline health care workers in the battle against COVID-19 continue their fight against the pandemic using the right equipment.
“Ventilators are essential equipment for patients who need assistance with respiratory challenges,” says the statement, quoting Airtel Managing Director, Charles Kamoto.
“Airtel Malawi recognizes that without adequate health equipment, more people will fall ill, reducing the availability of care for patients.
“The ventilators, once purchased by the COVID-19 taskforce, will be officially handed-over by the leading mobile telecom’s provider to a public hospital identified by the taskforce.
“Now more than ever, we all need to realize that we are in a period of crisis, and that the health sector and the economy at large, cannot cope alone.
“Now more than ever, the private sector needs to mobilize resources where they can, alongside the government and developmental sector, in order to fight this raging pandemic and reduce its impact,” Kamoto said.
Quoting Dr. John Phuka, the co-chairperson of the COVID-19 Presidential Taskforce, the support from Airtel is timely as there is still a deficit for PPE’s and ventilators required for frontline staff and medical facilities in the country.
“The list of our healthcare requirements is huge, and so this timely support from Airtel demonstrates a real commitment to reduce the gap and support our health facilities and workers in their time of need, who need appropriate medical equipment in their everyday battles to defeat this pandemic,” Phuka said.
Since March this year, Airtel has rolled out several initiatives to help mitigate the impact of social distancing on its customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
They include toll free line 54747 (also known as Chipatala Cha pa Foni) which is run together with the Ministry of Health through which Airtel subscribers can call in to get prevention tips and information on the COVID-19.
There is also free access to health sites: www.who.int; www.malawipublichealth.org and www.ncov2019.liveisfreeofcharge(nodatabundleorairtimerequired).
Another facility is toll-Freeinfoservice*929# for subscribers to access up todate information about the COVID-19 pandemic in the country in both English and Chichewa languages.
The topics on the platform range from news updates, information about the virus, prevention, symptoms, treatment, risks, and testing knowledge.
Since March 20, Airtel has been sending out SMS broadcasts, has been running a digital awareness campaign on its official social media platforms propagating information and prevention tips for the COVID-19.
It also supported the Ministry of Health with airtime support worth K1.1 million.
“We are committed to support our children in distance learning by offer access to education sites for free,” says Airtel.
“Websites such as www.khanacademy.org and www.education.gov which redirects to www.notesmaster.com/en/group/malawi/25-moe-malawi-covid19-support-group.
“Airtel Africa has additionally also facilitated a Pan-African partnership with UNICEF where we (including Malawi) are providing children affected by COVID-19 with access to a total of 25 online learning sites and also enablingcashassistancefortheirfamiliesviamobilecashtransfers (moredetailstobesharedinduecourse).
Headquartered in Lilongwe, Airtel Malawi Plc is the country’s leading mobile service provider offering 4G/LTE, 2G and 3G wireless networks; and high speed fixed broadband internet services.
Airtel Malawi also offers the largest mobile commerce service in the country through Airtel Money, which was launched in Malawi in February 2011.
Airtel Malawi was established in Malawi in 2010 as a subsidiary of Airtel Africa. Airtel Africa PLC is a Pan-African telecommunications company with operations in 14 countries across Africa.