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COVID-19

A public health crisis of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic has wide-reaching socio-economic impacts. However, while it caused us to refocus and pivot our normal ways of working, it also emphasized the important role our sector plays in connecting people during times of crisis. Telecommunications has enabled people to work and study remotely, it has supported government services and helped them deliver essential healthcare. At IHS, we believe we share a collective responsibility to respond during difficult times, and so in 2020 we re-focused our Sustainability strategy to support those communities hit hardest.

132,000+

test kits delivered to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

500,000+

items of PPE donated

1,000+

100ml hand sanitizers donated

The above figures are as at 31 December 2020.

Keeping employees safe

Our primary concern has been the health, safety, and wellbeing of our employees. Through our online learning platform, the IHS Academy, we introduced COVID-19-related courses. To help address the psychological demands of living through a pandemic, we ran regular online wellbeing sessions for all employees and training for up to 100 senior managers on supporting their teams most effectively. A ‘Return to Work’ initiative was implemented to ensure all IHS premises conformed to relevant government guidance, with social distancing measures, reduced capacity and layout reconfigurations swiftly introduced. These will remain in place for the foreseeable future. For our frontline workers such as drivers, field engineers and security personnel, who have been working onsite throughout, we provided them with critical personal protective equipment (PPE).

Helping our communities

Supporting our local communities throughout the pandemic has been a key priority. For example, in Nigeria, we utilized our partnership with UNICEF to fund the delivery of over 130,000 COVID-19 test kits to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. We procured extra ambulances for the Federal Capital Territory, Oyo, Kano and Edo state governments, to help improve response times for COVID-19 patients and the collection of test results, while also distributing PPE to laboratories, healthcare centers, schools and other critical organizations. In Côte d'Ivoire, we donated more than 90,000 items of PPE, as well as ventilators, to the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, while in Rwanda and Zambia we supported the Ministries of Health by donating 125,00 PPE items respectively.

For more information on our COVID-19 response, please click here.

Source: UNICEF Source: UNICEF

Helping customers keep networks up and running

Maintaining connectivity has been doubly important during the pandemic, when much of people’s daily activity switched to online and mobile channels. This continues to place an even greater responsibility on us to ensure our services are available 24/7 for our customers.

Through various measures, including risk mitigation, monitoring of our supply chain for signs of stress, the introduction of longer lead-in times for orders of fuel and equipment, and the identification of alternative channels for surety of supply, we were able to maintain our services in an extremely challenging environment.

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