Responding to a request by the Kenyan ministry of Health through the cabinet secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, Safaricom has agreed to provide communication support in the form of airtime, sms bundles and data to the health workers in charge of the current pandemic. The support which the Kenya’s biggest telecommunications provider estimates to be equivalent to 195 terabytes of data, 10 million voice call minutes and 33 million SMSs will be utilized by critical Government healthcare workers for the next three months.
The development comes amidst increased effort from both the government and private sector to normalize the activities in the country which has so far been under strict social distancing state with non-essential workers now working from their homes, schools resorting to e-learning rather than institution based and traffic flow between counties restricted in affected areas. Safaricom will therefore avail communication resources at both the county and government level to responsible health workers.
Health workers and ministry officials responsible for critical areas in handling current pandemic will receive;
- Government health workers will each receive a monthly bundle consisting of 12GB data + 600 voice call minutes + 2,000 SMSs. The ministry will be in charge of identifying those who qualify for this support.
- On the other hand, the Afya House where the National Command and Control Centre is will be connected to 100 Mbps Internet.
- While 15 members of the response unit will get a one-off bundle consisting of 50GB data + 3,500 voice call minutes + 10,000 SMSs
The cabinet secretary acknowledged the current crisis saying that communication should be the least of their worries adding that the team needed a seamless communication especially between frontline teams, the Command Centre and their loved ones. he therefore mentioned how the contribution by Safaricom to support over 5,500 Government healthcare workers will go a long way in helping them execute a coordinated national response.
Safaricom on its part through their CEO Peter Ndegwa, agreed how the gallant frontline healthcare workers were the first line of defense against the pandemic and needed to be appreciated by facilitating their communication as they continue discharging their duties.
Safaricom has so far donated Ksh 6.5 billion in the form of initiatives targeted at supporting its customers as well as the country from the negative impact of the pandemic through interventions in financial services, transport, education and healthcare.