Interswitch Group has announced a series of intervention measures worth ₦305 million to support the fight against coronavirus
The employees of Interswitch collectively contributed various amounts from their compensation in a bid to join efforts against the pandemic. In total, they were able to raise a sum of ₦75 million. The company also added ₦230 million to that, making a grand total of ₦305 million.
The primary focus of this fund is
- Support the creation and equipment of isolation centers
- Purchase COVID-19 Test kits
- Provide personal protective gear and related support for frontline health workers
- Set up foodbanks to cater to underprivileged communities in Lagos
On the bigger side, the intervention fund would serve as a support to the Federal Government, State Government, and also some selected private sector-led initiatives.
THE EXECUTION OF THE INTERVENTION PLAN
One, The Company has started execution of this plan with the Interswitch Verve Brand. The Verve Brand has sealed a partnership with the Lagos State Feeding Program. They are to provide essential materials, food items, among others for the poor and helpless communities in Lagos.
Two, Interswitch has also helped in setting up the already functional Eti-Osa isolation center in Lagos. They did this by joining hands with the Young President’s Association (YPO) and the Lagos State Government.
Three tropicalized ultra-low temperature (ULT) laboratory refrigerators have been provided to the Delta State Government. The refrigerators would be used to store reagents and other laboratory consumables. They would also be used to store the COVID-19 test samples until those samples are taken to the designated testing laboratory in Irra, Edo state.
Four, Interswitch is already concluding discussions with some states so that they can provide test kits and personal equipment (PPE) for the frontline health workers in these states. The states in view include Oyo, Ogun, Kaduna. Enugu and Edo.
To crown it all, Interswitch is building a user-friendly locally- nuanced software application through its health-tech subsidiary named the eClat Health care. The software is made for the general public. It would serve as a first-line intervention and assessment of risk and predisposition to the infection.
What the software does is to analyze the information provided by the user through a series of questions set up in it. The questions would cover risk factors, recent exposure, observed symptoms, and the health and travel history of the person.
This initiative also provides infected persons with virtual consultations. With this, an infected person’s cam gets medial consultation from their homes. It is from this consultation that they would know if the symptoms are mild or serious.
The aim of this software is to help decide and place priorities on which cases are more important. Truthfully, this is an important tool for the health care authorities at this time.
As at now, the solution provided by eClat health tech has been implemented in 20 states across the country. They are already in use in Lagos, Edo, Ogun, and Oyo.
They have also been implemented but not gone active in Delta, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Yobe, and Jigawa. For these states, health care personnel have been trained for this purpose.
In the other states, the system is in various stages of implementation, training, and the approval to go live. The states are Kano, Katsina, Rivers, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, and Imo.
Apart from supporting the government, Interswitch is also joining hands with the private-sector-led initiatives. The company is already using its existing partnership with PAX Technology to achieve this purpose. Together, they are providing essential medical consumables and supplies such as facial masks and thermometers for as low as N95.
Furthermore, the company is using the #FlattenThe Cov platform to roll out awareness and sensitization campaigns to the people. They plan to circulate WHO-approved messages and information on COVID-19, using their social and digital media assets.
Also, Interswitch’s partnership with PAX is set to promote the adoption of contactless point of sale solutions across the West Africa market. The contactless payment solution would come with contactless-enabled credit and debit cards and QR code. with this in place, the company hopes that with limited physical contact, the disease can be curbed to a large extent.
The Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer at Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe gave his comment as regards the intervention set up by the company. He mentioned that; “These interventions sit well within the context of our corporate mission; to create transaction solutions that enable individuals and communities prosper across Africa. Our efforts are underpinned by the realization that this pandemic, if left unchecked is a potent threat to interactions which facilitate entrepreneurship and commerce, without which inclusive prosperity will remain a pipe dream.
It is our desire and earnest hope that these initiatives, aggregated with the goodwill and committed efforts of many other like-minded corporate entities and well-meaning individuals who have rallied to this noble cause would significantly contribute to the flattening of the COVID-19 infection curve in Nigeria, which remains one of Africa’s most important economic hubs”. Elegbe added.
In all, it is a good thing that the government and companies are rising up to fight this pandemic. While we hope that this comes to an end soon, we can just implore more companies to rise up to this responsibility.