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MTN Group Bolsters COVID-19 War In Africa With US$25Million For Procurement Of Vaccines

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  • Lion Share Of 7 Million Doses Coming To Nigeria

By Cyber Era Staff

Africa’s largest telecommunications company, by subscriber figures, the MTN Group, has donated US$25Million towards the African Union(AU’s) COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

According to the telco, the donation will help procure nearly 7million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for health workers across the continent and ultimately strengthen the vaccination initiative of the lead agency on the pandemic in Africa-Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

As at November 2020, the MTN Group’s subscriber figures stood at 273 million, with MTN Nigeria making the largest contribution. Industry statistics released by telecommunications sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) put the number of subscribers on the MTN Nigeria network as at December 2020 at 80,764,128, thus gifting MTN Nigeria nearly 30 per cent of the group’s current total subscribers..

Expectedly, Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe has disclosed that Nigeria would receive a significant volume of the 7million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Ndukwe who led a team of MTN Nigeria including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-designate, Karl Toriola and the Chief Corporate Service Officer, Tobechukwu Okigbo, made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to the office of the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said that the Africa CDC is expected to receive the vaccine within the next three weeks.

Toriola, in a statement made seen by Cyber Era, said the vaccine to be distributed among health workers in the country is the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed in partnership with the University of Oxford and is already being administered across the United Kingdom.

According to the statement, the vaccine works by prompting the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack the virus when injected into a patient.

“It has been verified to be highly effective as no one given the vaccine at the trial stage developed severe COVID symptoms afterwards or required further hospital treatment,” Toriola said.

Ndukwe had, earlier during the visit, mentioned that the MTN’s partnership with the AU was in furtherance of the Y’ello Hope package launched in 2020 and driven by its GoodTogether philosophy.

He added that the donation would strengthen the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria by ensuring that frontline workers were well catered for and protected.

Said he: “The threat that COVID-19 represents to Nigeria requires an unprecedented response from the public and the private sector.

“We must all work together to develop and deliver the solutions that will allow us to contain this threat and protect the most vulnerable in our communities across the country.”

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