Lonestar Cell MTN on Monday donated to the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health 27,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The donation, which was presented on March 22, 2021, will be used for healthcare workers, especially those fighting to control and prevent the novel coronavirus disease.
It has been made available through a unique public and private partnership by the MTN Group, Africa’s leading mobile network and the Africa Union.
This was aimed at securing up to seven million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine overall to be spread across all 55 AU member states, for healthcare workers specifically.
The donation will secure up to seven million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for health workers across the 55 African countries, which is part of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) vaccination initiative.
“With these vaccines healthcare workers can continue to deliver care to COVID-19 patients without fear because, after vaccination, they are protected from the virus. In addition, the communication barriers disappear so patients can be assured of better care,” said Mr. Adolphus Clarke, Manager of Expanded Programme on Immunization at the MOH.
Liberia has 2,042 Covid-19 cases as of March 22, 2021, with 1,899 recovered and 85 deaths.
Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina S. Jallah, who received the COVAX vaccine, lauded MTN Group through Lonestar Cell MTN for its continued support to Liberia’s health delivery system.
Dr. Jallah recounted the MTN Group’s supports to maternal and neonatal child health, including the huge support provided to the government of Liberia, during the Ebola epidemic that stroked the country between 2014-2016.
“Today is another big day here in Liberia. We are glad that MTN Group, through its Liberia branch, Lonestar Cell MTN could partner with the Government of Liberia in our collective desires to see Liberia return to zero cases of coronavirus by the provision of additional 27,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine.
“With support from Lonestar Cell MTN, we are receiving additional doses of the life-saving AstraZeneca Vaccine, especially for health care workers fighting on the battlefield to ensure that we survive and thrive. We are extremely proud of this partnership because it provides an opportunity to protect healthcare workers. Also, it represents a major victory for which we are forever grateful,” she said.
She stated that the government of Liberia, especially President George Manneh Weah, remains grateful to the MTN family for the provision of the COVAX VACCINE is essential to protecting Healthcare workers and the entire population from contracting the deadly COVID-19 Virus.
Lonestar Cell MTN CEO Rahul De stated that public and private partnerships are imperative if they are to succeed in the fight against the pandemic and restore social-economic norms in communities.
Mr. De said the donation of the 27,000 vaccine doses is essential to Liberia’s fight against COVID-19. Even though it is not MTN’s first time supporting health care to Liberia, due to the alarming need for support to Liberia’s healthcare workers treating the sick during COVID-19 response, the MTN Group saw the urgent need to provide 75 million dollars worth of COVAX VACCINE for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
He said that the initiative is part of the MTN Group’s continued support to Liberia’s healthcare delivery system, including support for maternal and neonatal health.
“We believe that collaboration with the government in its corporate-social partnership is essential to the growth of Liberia and our respective endeavours,” Lonestar MTN CEO De said.
For his part, Nimba County District #3 lawmaker, Joseph N. Somwarbi, described the initiative as a laudable effort and rewarding partnership.
“We consider our healthcare workers to be because; currently COVID-19 has community transmission that it exists in our various communities. And our health care workers across the country there are exposed to the virus,” Rep. Somwarbi said.
“On this basis, sitting to think and providing 27,000 doses, which we look at it to be two doses per person, you have targeted to cover 13,500 workers in the country.”
According to him, it is one thing to give the vaccine and another thing to hide it from the targeted beneficiaries.
Rp. Somwarbi, who is also the chairman of the House Committee on Health, lauded the Lonestar Cell MTN family and expressed his desire to seeing the equitable effective and efficient distribution of the vaccine.