May 10, 2020

COVID-19: Sahara Group Completes 300-bed Isolation, Treatment Center

Sahara Foundation increases COVID-19 isolation centre capacity to 300 beds, 8 ICU beds

—Highlights Critical Role of Intra-Africa led Interventions

–Provides food, face masks, sanitizers to over 1m people

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA — AS a way of complementing the efforts of government in containing the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic, the Sarara Group has completed over 300-bed COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre in Abuja.

The Executive Director of the group, Temitope Shonubi, said that the concept for the project by Sahara Foundation was driven by the desire to make a difference in how nations respond to the pandemic in terms of physical, mental, and socio-economic well-being of all Africans.

Shonubi said that intra-Africa led collaboration and interventions by the private sector can help the continent bolster ongoing efforts geared towards containing the spread of COVID-19 as well as promote sustainable development across the continent.

Speaking while taking journalists on a tour of the completed over 300-bed COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre, he said leading African businesses can leverage their membership of trade associations, the Private Sector Advisory Group platform of the United Nations and the African Influencers for Development (AI4Dev) platform of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to drive a more cohesive and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

According to him, “Sahara Group, through our operations across Africa, has consistently demonstrated its support for intra-Africa led approach to promoting economic prosperity and sustainable development on the continent.

“Sahara Foundation, our corporate citizenship vehicle conceptualized the Abuja Isolation Centre project, partnered with the This Day media group and worked with other partners to deliver a world-class facility that will help save lives.

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“Sahara is also supporting COVID-19 interventions across Africa and is exploring areas of further collaboration with other partners for the benefit of over 1.3 billion people that call Africa home.

“In addition to playing a major role in delivering the centre, Sahara and its entities have been involved in providing personal protective equipment and relief materials to help medical personnel and the vulnerable cope with the impact of the pandemic. We believe the ‘Africa for Africa’ message is one that can bring hope and succour to Africa at this time.”

Shonubi, who is also a member of UNDP Africa’s AI4Dev initiative, further stated that Sahara Group was also providing dry and cooked food to over one million beneficiaries, face masks, hand sanitizers and relief materials to communities where its power affiliates (Ikeja Electric, Egbin Power and First Independent Power Limited), upstream and other Sahara affiliates operate across Africa.

He said that in Zambia, Asharami Energy Limited Company donated tens of thousands of hand-made fabric/Chitenge masks to shore up access to PPE and slow the spread of the virus.

“The company also publishes materials in English, Bemba, and Nyanja to facilitate the dissemination of information about the pandemic.

“In Kenya, Asharami Synergy Limited donated thousands of 5 litre jerrycans of hand sanitizers, whilst oxygen has been donated to hospitals in Ghana as well as Cote d’Ivoire to boost life support operations.”

Sahara’s Downstream entity, Asharami Synergy working in collaboration with other members of the Depot and Petroleum marketers Association not Nigeria (DAPMAN) is providing support towards the completion and equipping of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Hospital in Abuja.

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Located at the THISDAY Dome in Abuja, the centre was delivered by a coalition of partners including Sahara Foundation, THISDAY, CCECC, Arise News, The Presidency, Egbin Power, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Federal Capital Territory Authority, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, the Federal Ministry of Health, the African Finance Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, through CaCovid. Wood Factory, the Regents school, the three fashion brands of Ebewele Brown, Traffic Clo and Syari Clothiers, Kenol, Mama Cass, 54 Gene and Central Park.

The Centre which will be overseen by the Federal Capital Territory, Administration, FCTA under the supervision of NCDC has a capacity of a minimum of 300 beds with additional six plus two Intensive Care Unit beds, ventilators, dialysis machines, protective equipment, and mobile facilities for testing.

Vanguard News Nigeria