Apr 20, 2020
The Interswitch Group, one of Africa’s leading integrated payment & digital commerce players has announced a series of intervention measures as part of a coordinated effort to complement ongoing efforts from public and private sector perspectives to address the spread and mitigate the negative impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
Inspired to make a difference as far as playing their part in fighting the scourge, employees of the company have rallied together to voluntarily contribute various amounts from their compensation, raising a total of 75 million Naira in an employee-led effort, which the company has supplemented with the sum of N230 million, thereby bringing the funds raised towards the organization’s COVID-19 response effort to a grand total of N305 million Naira.
This is coming on the heels of concerted efforts by good-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to support the Federal and State governments in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. This intervention fund from the Interswitch Group and its employees is being deployed to provide support to Federal & State Governments, as well as some selected private sector-led initiatives. The primary focus of the fund is supporting the creation and equipment of isolation centres, purchasing COVID19 Test kits, providing personal protective gear and related support to frontline health workers and to set up food banks to cater to underprivileged communities in Lagos.
Execution has commenced with Interswitch’s Verve Brand, which has sealed a partnership with the Lagos State Feeding Program to provide raw material food items for poor & vulnerable communities in Lagos. Interswitch also supported The Young President’s Association (YPO) and the Lagos State government in setting up the already functional Eti-Osa isolation centre in Lagos. The fund has also supported the Delta State Government by providing tropicalized ultra-low temperature (ULT) laboratory refrigerators that will be used for the storage of reagents and other laboratory consumables and COVID19 test samples pending when they will be transported to the designated COVID19 Testing Laboratory in Irrua, Edo State.
The company is finalizing discussions with states including Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Ogun and Oyo with a view to providing test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers in these states.
Furthermore, by way of providing free technology for the use of governments and healthcare authorities, Interswitch has leveraged its core capabilities as a technology company and systems integrator, manifested through the initiative of eClat Healthcare, Interswitch’s health-tech subsidiary company, in building out a user-friendly, locally-nuanced software application which is useful 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. From an epidemiological mapping perspective, the application also offers insight-based analytics, based on its capabilities to track and aggregate insights into geographical heat-maps which highlight areas in which pre-disposition is deemed to be higher, to optimize decisions and ultimately enable prioritization of interventions, a key value proposition to public healthcare authorities.
This initiative essentially serves to provide guided and up-to-date information on COVID19, 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. 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 Healthtech solution supporting State Governments’ response to COVID19 has 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, while it has been implemented and is set to go live in Delta, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Yobe and Jigawa States, where healthcare personnel have also been trained in readiness for go-live. The system has been primed for the other states which are at various stages of implementation, training and approval to go live. These are Kano, Katsina, Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom and Imo States.
Also by way of exploring collaborative private-sector led initiatives to complement the drive of Federal & State Governments as well as public health authorities to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, Interswitch will leverage its existing partnership with players such as PAX Technology (a leading international provider of Point-of-Sale payment terminals) to provide essential medical consumables and supplies such as N95 facial masks and thermometers as part of the quest to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Interswitch has also expressed a commitment to leveraging its creative capabilities, social and digital media assets to roll out awareness and sensitization campaigns to propagate WHO-approved messaging & information on COVID 19, under the umbrella platform of #FlattenTheCov.
Commenting on the essence of these interventions, Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer at Interswitch opined that;
“These interventions sit well within the context of our corporate mission; to create transaction solutions that enable individuals and communities prosper across Africa. Our efforts are underpinned by the realization that this pandemic, if left unchecked is a potent threat to interactions which facilitate entrepreneurship and commerce, without which inclusive prosperity will remain a pipe dream. It is our desire and earnest hope that these initiatives, aggregated with the goodwill and committed efforts of many other like-minded corporate entities and well-meaning individuals who have rallied to this noble cause would significantly contribute to the flattening of the COVID-19 infection curve in Nigeria, which remains one of Africa’s most important economic hubs”.
By virtue of the alliance with technology providers such as PAX, Interswitch has also underscored commitment by the partners to promote the adoption of contactless point-of-sale payment solutions across the West Africa market. Contactless payment solutions include payments with contactless-enabled credit and debit cards, as well as QR codes, underscored by the realization that the widespread adoption of contactless payment solutions has greater propensity to better mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
About Interswitch Group
Interswitch Group is a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitisation of payments in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Interswitch also provides technology integration, advisory services, payment infrastructure and transaction processing across multiple channels to organisations across various sectors, including but not limited to aviation, government, health, education, banking, retail, telecommunications, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
Interswitch has demonstrated consistent, strong and profitable growth since the business was founded in 2001 and is currently present in 4 countries across the continent. Since its inception, Interswitch has grown to be a leading player with critical mass in Nigeria and connects all commercial banks in Nigeria, over 100 financial institutions, 180,000 active merchants, six international payment schemes and its domestic payment scheme, Verve, to its payments network (as at March 2019). This strong growth has further accelerated Interswitch’s expansion strategies in Africa. Please visit www.interswitchgroup.com for more information.
About eClat Healthcare
eClat Healthcare provides a turn-key solution for healthcare delivery. It’s helping to transform the quality of healthcare by providing modern, essential resource tools to care, providers, increasing their efficiency, saving costs, empowering stakeholders and leading to improved patient outcome.
Its flagship product eClinic is used in more than 350 hospitals across public and private healthcare institutions in Nigeria. primary care centres across 6 states in Nigeria. eClat’s healthcare platform is also being used across Federal, State and Primary Healthcare Centres in over 12 states in Nigeria as well as several private hospitals in Nigeria including Eko Hospital, First Cardiology Consultants and Solid Rock Hospital. Further information about eClat healthcare including a full client list can be found at eclathealthcare.com