Ebola is probably the worst epidemic to hit Africa, taking more lives faster in a short period of time than any other disease has in years.
Airtel and MTN in Zambia thus joined hands and have joined the United Against Ebola Initiative where subscribers can donate money using an SMS based service to raise funds that will go directly into the fight against Ebola.
The United Against Ebola initiative is continent-wide, with many other telecoms companies joining in and playing a part to support the cause.
If you’re in Zambia. all you have to do is send ‘Stop Ebola’ to 7979 to donate a minimum of K2 that will be deducted from your account. You can keep sending as many times as you want to keep donating. The initiative will run for 3 months.
The 7979 number is the same number to text to in all countries taking part but the service has been specifically adapted to each country.
The mobile giants that have joined in the fight against Ebola are Bharti Airtel, Econet Wireless, Etisalat, Millicom (who operate the brand Tigo), MTN Group, Orange, Vodacom and Vodafone Ghana.
This move is part of a bigger one by the African Union (AU) and its Commission Chairperson, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, said this about it; “We are conscious of the urgent need for all of us to do more, and to act faster. Only by acting together can we ensure that our continent and world is free of Ebola. We therefore repeat our call to all Africans to lead the global efforts of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.”
Airtel Networks Zambia Plc. Managing Director, Ms. Charity Chanda Lumpa said the ‘epidemic had claimed over 7,000 lives across parts of West Africa since it was first reported in Guinea in March 2014 and that the collaboration of Mobile service providers was a milestone’.
And MTN Zambia Chief Executive Officer Abdul Ismail echoed the sentiments made by MTN Group President and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa saying: “MTN Zambia is supporting this campaign to give further impetus to concerted efforts aimed at combating the Ebola epidemic and saving lives. As MTN, we believe the only way to start reversing the devastating effects of the outbreak is to come together to tackle the spread of the disease, and ease the suffering it continues to inflict on families and communities.”
At Group level, MTN is also working with some of Africa’s most celebrated musicians to produce an inspirational song for digital download on its MTN Play store. All proceeds from sales, post publishing rights and subscription payments, will be donated to the AU campaign. MTN Zambia, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Abdul Ishmail id, MTN is pleased to enter into this partnership with Airtel Networks Zambia Plc and other mobile operators across Africa as they embark on this fight against the spread of the Ebola virus.*
It’s good to see that business is taking care of Ebola now. It’s a serious disease killing our own right now so we urge every reader/subscriber to do their part to support this movement and fight Ebola. You can also take part in the conversations on social media using the hashtag #AfricaAgainstEbola.
We are still waiting on a response from Zamtel as to why they are not a part of the initiative, or if they are involved in the fight against Ebola in another way so we will keep you updated.
Image Credit: Business2Community
*Parts of the article have been extracted from a joint press statement issued by MTN and Airtel