COVID-19: Airtel Nigeria Donates Phones, Airtime to Port Health Services

**Announces Zero-Rates Visits to NCDC, FMoH Websites

In pursuit of its Corporate Social Responsibility philosophy to be an enabler in the provision of healthcare to the less privileged and indeed all Nigerians, Airtel Nigeria, has announced the commencement of a national awareness campaign on Coronavirus to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

The telco also announced its donation of 40 mobile phones complete with a Closed User Group (CUG) to the Port Health Services, an arm of the Federal Ministry of Health, to support its effort to track and verify passenger information at the country’s local and international airports.

The nationwide awareness campaign will go live on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will be heavy on both traditional and social media with simple and creative messages that will be translated into Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo and broadcast across radio, billboard, press, phones/devices and digital media.

In addition to the national campaign and donations to the Port Health Services, Airtel has also zero-rated visits to the websites of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) just as it has changed its network ID on customers’ handset to read, ‘Be Safe.’

The phones donated to the Ports Health Services, according to the leading mobile telecommunications service provider, will ensure that passengers on incoming flights from the affected countries globally, who may be at risk, can be reached post arrival for further medical checks and quarantine where necessary.

Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, while speaking on the donation, said the company, like every other organization is committed to any measure that will help curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

“The phones, airtime and CUG are probably the least we can do in the circumstance to empower the gallant men and women at the forefront of the fight against the scourge. It is also our belief that the robust national campaign will deepen awareness and help more Nigerians to take the precautionary measures seriously,” he said.

Dr. Morenike Alex-Okoh, the Director of Nigeria’s Port Health Services commended Airtel Nigeria for pledging its support immediately the request was made and indeed fulfilling the promise within a short space of time.

“We are inspired by the show of corporate social responsibility by Airtel and look forward to similar support from other organizations not only to the Port Health Services but to the overall effort to fight the Coronavirus pandemic,” she commented.

In addition to the telecommunications facilities, Airtel Nigeria will launch an awareness campaign with outdoor hoardings and a radio jingle in English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo to help create awareness and educate the masses about Coronavirus.

Ogunsanya added that education was a key element of the fight against the scourge and nothing is too little or too much to do to help people know more and do more to protect themselves and others from the pandemic.

In 2014, Airtel Nigeria partnered with the African Union on the “Kick Ebola out of Africa Campaign” by donating mobile phones, sim cards and airtime to all the 290 Nigerian doctors, nurses and other care-givers, who volunteered to join the fight against Ebola.

As a critical stakeholder in the Nigerian society, Airtel Nigeria is passionate about the safety and health of its citizens as this aligns with our overall CSR theme of touching lives and improving the standard of living in our communities and the fight against Coronavirus is another opportunity to demonstrate this commitment.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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