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Airtel to garner Le300m more to fight Ebola

Airtel to garner Le300m more to fight Ebola

Leading GSM operator in the country, Airtel, is set to generate an additional Le 300 million within 30-90 days of the State of Emergency to help fight the deadly Ebola outbreak through the introduction of the Le 1 (one) per call fund raising campaign. AIRTEL MD making a statement alongside Information Minister

In an exclusive interview with this medium, the Managing Director of Airtel, Sudipto Chowdhury, said they decided to raise more funds to fight the pandemic because the country is going through serious challenges and requires more resources and awareness to contain it.

As a responsible and sensible corporate citizen he added that they are not only here to provide means of communication but to also associate with government’s development strides more especially provision of the necessary support in very challenging times like this.

Mr. Chowdhury explained that with their current subscriber base of about 1.6 million making approximately 3 million calls per day and 90 million per month they are donating Le 1 from every call made towards the Ebola fight and also disseminating sensitization messages to their customers.

He said the fund raising campaign for now is targeting the Ebola outbreak and that it would be an ongoing process until the scourge is finally eliminated. He however assured that once the disease is eradicated the funds will be channeled towards other development programmes.

The MD furthered that Airtel being a sensitive and honest corporate institution operating in 21 countries across the globe they have been contributing immensely towards the realization of the social needs of people where they are operating.

He maintained that as a result of such moves, people are proud to be associated with such a responsible, proactive, sensitive and honest corporate body like Airtel.

He disclosed that they were the first company to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and UNFPA by providing 150 mobile phones – Close Users Group (CUG) for contact tracers that has now increased to 1,000 – and the creation of an Ebola website and free hotline for information gathering and sharing.

Sudipto Chowdhury also touched on their partnership with AWOL in educating and distributing hand sanitizers to schools across the country with the aim of sensitizing pupils who would in turn pass on the message to their parents.

He similarly threw light on the ARS dinner held at Radison Blu Hotel graced by many distinguished personalities such as the Vice President, Alhaji Sam Sumana, his wife, Health Minister, Miatta Kargbo, Sports Minister, Paul Kamara, among others where the sum of Le 400 million was raised to fight Ebola.

He added that they raised Le 400 million (daily wage) donated by Airtel staff and another Le 100 from the Airtel Pan Africa Director who was in the country at the time in solidarity with the government and people of Sierra Leone in the face of the Ebola outbreak.

He described the Le 1 per call fund raising scheme as a demonstration of their continued effort and commitment to the people of Sierra Leone by not only providing communication devices but also catering for the health needs of the people.

He said Airtel was the first company in the country to embark on the mobilization of funds to fight the disease including staffers’ sacrifice of a day’s wage that was emulated by others such as President Koroma and his cabinet.

He also offered prayers for the outbreak to be eradicated soon so as to make way for the country to continue enjoying happiness and prosperity.

The MD concluded by warning all and sundry to observe strict personal hygiene by always washing their hands, avoid contacting unknown people and objects, informing authorities about any Ebola suspect and to remain safe, clean, confident and courageous.

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