NetOne and TelOne have been hailed for partnering to assist the Government by mobilizing resources towards the mitigation and containment of COVID-19 as part of their Corporate Social Investment (CSI).
In a speech at the unveiling of a fully-equipped and refurbished Ward B5 at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo today that he made on behalf of Minister Jenfan Muswere, the Deputy Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Mr. Dhingumuzi Phuti said the ICT sector plays a critical role as a key enabler that supports all other economic activities across all sectors.
“This pandemic has become a springboard that has seen my Ministry in conjunction with players under our purview accelerating digital innovations that seek to promote telecommuting and remote working in order to reduce contact risk and curb the spread of the virus,” Hon. Phuti said.
All ICT sector players contributed immensely towards the setting up of the National Covid-19 Response Hotline 2019, through the donation of various ICT equipment and toll-free lines to facilitate the set-up of the Ministry of Health and Child Care National Emergency Call Centre Facility. In addition, the sector also contributed to the setting up of the 2023 Hotline to enable the Ministry of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting services to effectively disseminate critical information during this COVID-19 season, this facility is also operational and working smoothly.
The Deputy Minister said ICT Players have demonstrated their unwavering support and commitment towards augmenting Government’s efforts in fighting COVID-19, which is threatening to destroy humanity.
“I stand here today, to unveil a COVID-19 response package by 2 Telecoms companies under the Ministry’s purview, namely NetOne and TelOne. Both entities resolved to collaborate as State Owned Entities in the Telecoms Sector on a 50/50 Joint COVID-19 Mitigation Corporate Social Investment Initiative and put together a combined total of ZWL$10,000,000.00 towards both the immediate needs as well as medium to long term projects that seek to capacitate our public health facilities. This commitment was pledged to His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa at State House in April this year,” Hon. Phuti said.
A fortnight ago, ICT stakeholders were at Sally Mugabe Hospital witnessing the fantastic work by NetOne and TelOne and today unveiled a newly refurbished 35-bed Ward B5 at Mpilo Hospital. The two entities continue to contribute to improving the health sector.
NetOne Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Chipo Jaisson said her company’s collaboration with TelOne has culminated in them providing support 3 Health facilities, namely Sally Mugabe Hospital, Mpilo Hospital as well as Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital.
“Our intervention focused on four critical aspects that addressed both immediate and long terms needs. The first one being the Provision of Protective Personnel Equipment (PPE) to improve the protection of front line Health Professionals. It is important to note that the demand for these highly consumable lines, largely exceeds the supply of the same given their frequency of use as well as disposable nature.
“This requires combined efforts from various stakeholders in order to effectively contribute towards the safety of front line health professionals as they support people affected/ infected by the virus. As such, I am happy to advise that NetOne & Telone procured various PPE and sanitizers which have already been handed over to the 3 facilities in May for onward disbursement to their frontline personnel,” Ms. Jaisson said.
The second critical the two entities focused on was the Provision of Clean Water and Sanitation. As part of the intervention, they drilled a total of 6 new boreholes at the 3 Public Health Facilities. One such Borehole was successfully installed at Mpilo Hospital and 1 at Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital. This will not only improve water supply but will allow these facilities to set up nutrition gardens for sustainable patient nutrition into the future.
The third critical focus area was the Procurement of Critical Medical Equipment – Capacitation of Health Facilities cannot be achieved without investing in critical medical equipment that will assist in patient monitoring, respiratory support, and other related requirements. As such, NetOne and TelOne procured an assortment of equipment, beds, and linen for the wards.
The fourth critical focus area was around the Adoption of Wards at Sally Mugabe and Mpilo Hospital for Refurbishments. These are 2 of the largest referral hospitals that attend to huge patient volumes coming from the 2 major cities – Harare and Bulawayo and their surrounding areas.
Mrs. Chipo Mutasa, the TelOne Managing Director said the objective is to create a suitable, safe, and clean environment that will nurture patients back to health, whilst promoting culture and legacy of excellence in the public health facilities, as they endeavor to meet the health demands of the nation.
“Furthermore, we will be handing over 5 ICU beds to assist the hospital to cater to patients that may require high dependency or intensive care support.
“We are confident that the Newly refurbished and modernized ward being unveiled today, will make our public health facilities more appealing and allow them to accommodate more patients in a clean and aesthetic environment, as well as provide affordable health care to the general populace that may not be able to access private health care,” Mrs. Mutasa added.