Following MTN’s donation of US$25 million towards the African Union’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, the ICT company has said that Nigeria will receive a significant volume of the seven million doses of the vaccine to be distributed to health workers across the continent.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is expected to receive the vaccine within the next three weeks. The Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, the CEO-designate, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola and Chief Corporate Service Officer, MTN Nigeria, Tobechukwu Okigbo on Tuesday, February 2, 2020, made this announcement during a courtesy visit to the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
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. 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.
MTN’s partnership with the AU is in furtherance of the Y’ello Hope package launched in 2020 and driven by its GoodTogether philosophy. The donation will strengthen the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria by ensuring that frontline workers are well catered for and protected. As the Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe OFR, said during the announcement of the Y’ello Hope package, “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.”
The donation further establishes the ICT company’s position as a leader in the private sector and a key stakeholder on the African continent. With MTN leading the way, the expectation is that other corporate organisations will join government’s effort to vaccinate the entire population across Africa.