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  • (L-R) John Conteh, AIR Station Manager, Information Minister, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, Deputy Health Minister, Foday Lahai Sawie & Africell’s CCAO, Joe Abass Bangura

Africell on Friday 14th November, 2014 presented its fourth consignment of food items to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in support to Government's efforts in the fight against the Ebola epidemic.

The ceremony took place at the company's Wilberforce headquarters in Freetown.

Africell's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Joe Abass Bangura stated that the donation is a continuation of the fulfillment of the promise made by the company's Chief Executive Officer, Shadi Ger jawi on 20th August, 2014 while launching the scheme to set aside Le1.00 for every 1 minute call made through Africell network as part of its support to the Ebola fight which proceeds are being utilized to buy the food items.  Joe Abass Bangura also disclosed that a total of 101, 250 kilograms of rice have been provided under the scheme and revealed that the latest donation is 40, 000 kilograms (1,600 25 kg) bags of rice totaling 101,250 kilograms or 4,025 bags of rice so far donated.

He further stated that the next consignment of rice would be delivered to epicenters and quarantined communities in Freetown, Port Loko, Makeni, Bo, Kenema, Lunsar, Rotifunk, Tonkolili, Koinadugu and Moyamba and urged Sierra Leoneans to be vigilant and abide by the prevention measures outlined by health authorities to break the chain of transmission.

The Chief Corporate Affairs Officer further appealed to beneficiaries to wash their hands with soap and clean water regularly or water mixed with chlorine, avoid contact with sick people and those with symptoms of Ebola; do not touch corpses and ensure that those with the signs of the virus are promptly taken to hospital to increase their chances of survival.

Joe Abass Bangura also stated that in partnership with the African Independent Radio, the company would continue to provide vital information on the prevention and containment of the Ebola virus through its daily flagship radio program titled 'Join Han For Dreb Ebola' in collaboration with the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, BBC Media Action and the Emergency Operations Center.

He assured that Africell would not relent in providing information, funding, food as well as contribute to Government's funding gaps to defeat Ebola underlining, “Africell joins the people of Sierra Leone to pray for an end to the outbreak sooner rather than later.”

Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister II, Foday Lahai Sawi acclaimed Africell for its novelty as the company with the widest coverage in the country thus the biggest GSM operator that always associates with the people while others follow.

He recalled when Africell's Chief Executive Officer, Shadi Ger jawi made the pledge to put aside Le1.00 for every call made through its network as part of its sustained corporate social responsibility.

The Deputy Minister further stated that Sierra Leoneans live in communal but that the outbreak has disturbed their culture adding, “the virus has threatened to annihilate us. Furthermore, citizens of the three-affected countries in the sub-region are discriminated and isolated internationally.”

He admonished Sierra Leoneans to cope with the inconveniences that would soon be overcome and described Africell as a friend indeed, especially during this crisis period for which Government and the people of Sierra Leone would always be grateful.

Foday Lahai Sawi further informed that the people appreciate the company in their community for its immeasurable contributions to socio-economic development and appealed for more support at this crucial time in the country's history.   Information and Communications Minister, Alhaji Alpha Kanu stated that Africell believes in honoring its corporate social responsibility pointing out that inspite of the many investors in the country, the company stands out distinctly as one of the most outstanding contributors to the development of Sierra Leone and is in the country to stay reiterating that the Ebola virus would be defeated.

He went on to state that Africell is enhancing Government's efforts in the Ebola fight as patients in the treatment centers eat five times a day cautioning, “no matter how many expatriates come to help us, if we fail to adhere to the preventive measures, especially body contact and taking the sick early to the hospital, we will not break the chain of transmission.”  He disclosed that the Port Loko District Ebola Task Force has transformed six secondary schools to holding centers.

Africell's Administrative Director, Abdul Azizi Gabisi and staff of the company graced the ceremony that was chaired by the Station Manager of African Independent Radio (AIR), John Conteh.