At a time when startups and businesses across Africa are considering laying off their staff strength, Nigerian leading financial technology company, Interswitch together with its workers have raised N305 million ($782k) towards the organisation’s COVID-19 response effort.
Employees of the organisation contributed a total of N75 million and the company augmented their efforts with the sum of N230 million.
- Announcing the fund and how it will be deployed, the Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer at Interswitch, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe, said the fund from Interswitch Group and its employees would be deployed to support the setting up and equipping of isolation centres, purchase of COVID-19 Test kits, provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and related support to frontline heath workers, as well as the operation of foodbanks to cater to under-privileged communities in Lagos.
- According to Elegbe, Interswitch’s Verve Brand sealed a partnership with the Lagos State Feeding Programme to provide raw food items for poor and vulnerable communities in Lagos.
- Through its healthcare subsidiary, eClat Healthcare, Interwitch is also building a user-friendly, locally-nuanced software application for members of the public as a first-line intervention for the assessment of risk and pre-disposition to the novel Coronavirus infection.
- The software platform analyses users’ information provided from answers to a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure, observed symptoms, health and travel history.
- The initiative essentially serves to provide guided and up-to-date information on COVID-19, reduce panic, lower gross footfall to medical facilities, being a first-line checkpoint and ultimately reduce risk of exposure to health workers on the frontlines of fighting the pandemic.
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- Designed with an interactive interface, the solution facilitates further virtual consultation for infected persons, meaning infected persons can stay in their homes and access consultation as to whether their symptoms give cause for alarm or not.
- The eClat Health-tech solution supporting State Governments’ response to COVID-19 has already been implemented in 20 states across the country. It is currently in use in Lagos State’s Eti-Osa Isolation centre, and in Edo, Ogun and Oyo States.