TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Vodacom Lesotho says its US$1 million pledge to the government has contributed to the procurement of 133 000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
Part of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines were delivered to Lesotho on Saturday through the facilitation of the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).
The consignment of 108 000 received on Saturday is part of the total of 1, 3 million vaccines that have been ordered through AVAT.
Lesotho has so far received 456 000 doses including the 36 000 doses of AstraZeneca that were received in March and in June this year. Another 302 400 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine were donated by the United States government last month.
The vaccines are expected to accelerate Lesotho’s roll out of its vaccination plan to inoculate its 1, 4 million eligible population.
Lesotho is currently experiencing a third-wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which has to date claimed 391 lives and had infected 13 845 as of yesterday according to the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC).
“This consignment is the culmination of the 29 March pledge of $1 million by Vodacom Group Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub to the government of Lesotho,” Vodacom Lesotho said in a statement this week.
“The donation formed part of Lesotho’s $10 million order made through the AVAT process and also receiving contributions from private sector organisations, development partners and the government. On its own, Vodacom has purchased approximately 133 000 doses.”
On his part, Vodacom Lesotho managing director, Mohale Ralebitso, said they were happy to help the community within which they operate.
“As Vodacom Lesotho, we are delighted to be part of this important gesture of strengthening the health sector’s resilience against the Covid-19 pandemic for the people of Lesotho.
“We are conscious of the critical interventions that the private sector can make to the health condition of the Basotho. We wish to continue making our humble presence felt in the health and other sectors though our Vodacom Lesotho Foundation to ensure that we make a difference in the lives of the communities within which we operate,” Mr Ralebitso said.
The incoming vaccines are expected to graduate the country to subsequent vaccination phases and benefit population categories such as teachers, border personnel, armed forces, factory workers and the general public.