By Babajide Okeowo
As part of its contribution to the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic, telecoms giant, the MTN Group has delivered the first set of the COVID-19 vaccine doses to Nigeria and 8 other African countries.
Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritius and Togo are amongst the countries to receive the first 723,000 doses out of the 7 million Covid-19 vaccine doses given by the South African firm, MTN.
This disclosure was made by the Director, Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the African Union’s disease control body, John Nkengasong, at a news conference.
He also stated that several other countries, including South Sudan and Malawi, are due to receive doses in the coming days.
This is also coming after several African countries had rolled out and started vaccinating their citizens with vaccine doses provided by the WHO-backed COVAX initiative.
It can be recalled that in a unique public/private partnership, the MTN Group announced a donation of $25 million to support the African Union’s vaccination programme.
MTN said the donation which is to help secure 7 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine is for health workers across the African Union’s 55 member states
African countries have begun vaccinating their citizens only in recent weeks after richer countries secured early supplies.
Africa is relying primarily on free doses from the World Health Organization-backed COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, which aims to secure 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.