Telecommunications giants, Vodacom Lesotho, this week donated 1,000 smartphones to the ministry of health, aimed at easing communication as the government continues its bid to fight and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Handing over the communication devices on Wednesday at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre, Vodacom Lesotho’s managing director, Philip Amoateng stated that they had made a promise to ease communication during this trying times.
“We therefore hand over 1,000 phones to fight this pandemic. We are here because we have promised the ministry a couple of things, one of them is to support the frontline health workers with free communication during this period.
“Our assumption is that in the next three-months it will be very difficult and if anything at all, we can give them communication in terms of voice and data, so we promise the health workers 5GB data for the next three months.”
Amoateng continued to say Vodacom Lesotho will continue to pledge to the government and to the people of Lesotho that they will make their network available in the fight against COVID-19.
Vodacom first made sure that people get information about the pandemic, by zero-rating the World Health Organization (WHO) website and, the ministry is health (MoH) website so that people get information.
“The more information people have, the more ability for them to protect themselves. We came back today with a package which revolves around digital financial services because we knew that during this time, the COVID travels through medium such as papers and others, so we felt financial services would help reduce the spread.
“Moreover, it is a known fact that during lockdown and up to now, students were unable to go about their education normally like it is supposed to be done, so through working with the regulator, they managed to zero-rate a number of educational websites.
“Students of the National University of Lesotho are now able to go to their work portal for their normal studies. So long as one has a Vodacom simcard, they will be able to access the University portal and have online education. The same applies to the Lesotho Institution for Accountants.
“Vodacom has another ability to self-screen. In Lesotho, we have very high mobile penetration, we have more than one million of Lesotho people coming to the network on a daily basis. This means people can screen themselves from the comfort of their homes.”
For his part, health minister Nkaku Kabi thanked Vodacom Lesotho for their unwavering support during this difficult time.
“These phones will come in handy because there is a communication barrier between health facilities. After receiving these phones, distribution should be done to people who really need them, those who are mostly at border posts.”