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UNFPA Sierra Leone partners with Africell Sierra Leone to promote sexual and reproductive health information

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 23 April 2020 - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, entered into a partnership with Africell (SL) Limited, through a Memorandum of Understanding to support UNFPA’s efforts to achieve three transformative results; zero unmet need for family planning, zero maternal deaths, zero gender based violence and all harmful practices.

The UNFPA - Africell partnership campaign focused primarily on reaching women and girls with information to increase the demand for gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health services. The campaign is initially targeting at least 600,000 subscribers in Freetown with voice calls and text messages on COVID-19, maternal health, family planning and gender-based violence at no cost to subscribers.

UNFPA worked with government and UN partners in Sierra Leone to develop the messages which were customized into accessible local languages; and recorded voice messages. UNFPA and Africell SL jointly developed a strategy to target literate subscribers with SMS messages, and low literacy subscribers with the voice messages thus ensuring everyone could understand the messages. 

Dr. Kim Eva Dickson, UNFPA Country Representative, said she was delighted that the partnership had come to fruition. “UNFPA embraces innovative approaches to ensure that communities are reached with much needed sexual and reproductive health information and services. We particularly welcome this public private partnership with Africell SL during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is extremely important that women and girls are encouraged to continue to access free family planning and maternal health services, and we make all efforts to prevent gender based violence, as this pandemic rages.”

Mr. Shadi Gerjawi, CEO of Africell (SL) Limited, in his comments said, "Africell is pleased to partner with UNFPA to roll out this impressive initiative which is designed to reach young people and women in Sierra Leone with vital information.” Africell, he said, places premium on the importance of a healthy nation, “Therefore we believe that if the right information is constantly emphasised and communicated, it creates a paradigm shift in perception and behaviour."

 

About the United Nations Population Fund

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

 

About Africell

Africell is an African mobile technology company. We provide fast, low-cost and reliable mobile network coverage and related value-added technology services to millions of individuals, communities and business in four vibrant African countries.  Africell is the market leading operator in Sierra Leone and The Gambia and is a vibrant challenger in The Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Africell is a disruptor: keen to challenge inefficiencies, embrace fresh thinking and deliver innovative products and services which make a practical difference to people every day. Our corporate social responsibility and positive community impact, as well as our entrepreneurial spirit and transparent business activities, makes Africell the ideal mobile network provider for Africa’s future.

 

For more information, please contact:

Angelique Reid, UNFPA Sierra Leone, Communication Specialist

Email: areid@unfpa.org

 

John Baimba Sesay, UNFPA Sierra Leone, Web and Media Analyst

Email: jsesay@unfpa.org Tel: +232 30953193/ +23279369395

John Konteh

Media Relations Manager

 Africell SL.

Email: jkonteh@africell.sl

+232-77-928-401