With supplies of face masks and hand sanitiser quickly running out amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, MTN is stepping in to help with the supply of thousands of face masks and hand sanitisers to provincial health departments.
Despite limited supply globally, MTN SA’s Foundation team has worked around the clock to secure as many as 30,800 face masks and 18,000 bottles of hand sanitiser worth R1.9 million. These essential supplies have been allocated to provincial departments of health across all nine provinces based on need. First supplies will be delivered to provinces today and distribution will continue all week.
This comes as the spread of Covid-19 has triggered an unprecedented spike in demand for masks and hand sanitisers, with the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioning that the pandemic is straining health systems worldwide. The precautionary measures implemented by various governments to curb the spread of the virus have impacted production and shipping, resulting in a shortage of these life-saving amenities.
To accelerate the availability of these supplies, MTN has been working closely with suppliers, that have made every effort possible to ramp up production and ensure that the masks and sanitisers are secured and distributed as quickly and safely as possible.
In addition, MTN is working with key South African non-profit organisations, that have actively been involved in working with communities during the pandemic. Each of these organisations are receiving an MTN data SIM and WiFi modem. The SIM cards are loaded with 30GB of free data per month, for a period of six months, to assist them during their humanitarian and community upliftment initiatives.
MTN has long-standing relationships with these organisations, and they have been extensively vetted and selected because of their impeccable track records.
This initiative also forms part of MTN’s broader commitment – outside its existing role as an essential service provider – to heed the call of President Ramaphosa for the private sector to play a greater role in helping the country rid itself of the COVID-19 scourge.
“The WHO says the best defence against any outbreak is a strong health system and MTN is going the extra mile to help ensure our health system is able to withstand the strain it is facing. We will continue to assist in any way we can to ensure SA and its people get through this crisis together,” says Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation.
Partnerships, collaboration and a deep-rooted culture of caring are needed more than ever to keep SA safe.
“As a proudly South African company, MTN will continue to do good for communities across the country. Technology has a crucial role to play in keeping families connected and businesses functioning during this challenging time. Our ability to harness networks, boost data connectivity and partner with key suppliers regionally will increasingly come to the fore, and it is through initiatives like the above that we can make a real difference for societies and communities countrywide,” concludes Mtunzi-Hairwadzi.