Vodafone’s comprehensive COVID-19 approach offers great relief

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Vodafone Ghana’s comprehensive COVID-19 response plan is helping the country combat the global pandemic and minimise its impact on consumers and businesses. The several unique initiatives outlined in the plan are currently addressing the specific needs of Ghanaians during this crucial fight.

Commenting on the various initiatives, Patricia Obo-Nai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said: “In such difficult times, our customers and Ghanaians look up to us for leadership, comfort, and direction. We know what is required and are committed to easing the burden for all as we also continue to reinforce our position as the brand that cares in Ghana.

Measures are in place to support our customers; strengthen our network to provide constant connectivity at all times; support government initiatives, and drive awareness. Our enterprise unit is also providing businesses with the needed tools to enjoy mobility as more organisations work from home.

Driving Public Awareness

Knowing the importance of timely and accurate information to the public, Vodafone uses its various platforms including social media and text alerts for the dissemination of critical information on COVID-19. Additionally, the Telco has partnered the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to extend its public education and awareness in the various regions by producing radio jingles and TV adverts in the various languages.

Ensure Uninterrupted Education

Vodafone believes technology has assumed greater importance for delivering vital services including education, during this period. This is why the telecommunications giant is offering students and learners across all levels of education, free access to a plethora of educational websites and e-learning platforms via the Vodafone network.

This free initiative ensures that young citizens in schools and universities across the country continue their studies uninterrupted. Vodafone is currently supporting fifty educational institutions across the country.

Furthermore, the Instant Schools e-learning platform (www.instantschools.vodafone.com.gh) from Vodafone Ghana Foundation provides free access on the Vodafone network to a wide range of educational materials for Ghanaian students. This covers English, Science, Math and a variety of other subjects.

Partnerships with Government

Healthline Call Centre: Vodafone has activated its pioneering Healthline Call Centre, which is staffed with 50 specialist doctors to support the government by giving guidance and accurate health information about the virus. The project, which is in partnership with the Ministry of Health, is already providing reliable information to members of the public who dial 255.  A team of doctors are on hand 12 hours a day to advise and refer suspected COVID-19 cases to the Rapid Response Team.

Vodafone Big Data Initiative: Vodafone’s Big Data initiative, which is in partnership with Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) and the Flowminder Foundation, is helping the Ministry of Health (MOH) understand how effective the lockdown has been by using innovative data analysis techniques.

This initiative will help the Ministry plan its interventions at both the national and community levels as it fights against the virus. Various analyses have been produced and the outputs have been shared with the Ghana Health Service to inform their approach to planning health interventions.

Teleconsultation Centre:  Vodafone has provided internet connectivity and devices to the Greater Accra Regional Teleconsultation Centre (TCC) at Ridge Hospital, to enable the Centre to provide free psychological support to Ghanaians who may be affected by the pandemic as well as those who are currently stuck in other locked down countries and their families.

Support for Health Workers: Vodafone through its Foundation collaborated with the Ghana Health Service to train 70 doctors and other supporting medical staff in the country on relevant disciplines to support the government’s Risk Communication and Public Education campaign on COVID-19. Vodafone also provided 1700 connected Vodafone SIMs with airtime to the government to support its contact tracing efforts, which is aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

Zero-rated Government Portals: Vodafone has also zero-rated calls to the National COVID-19 response number (112) and given Ghanaians free access to government websites for daily updates on COVID-19, via Vodafone. To enable the government to carry out its work seamlessly, Vodafone has also committed to giving employees of selected ministries and government institutions, free access to their online portals via Vodafone’s network.

Enabling Businesses Work from Home

Its enterprise unit, Vodafone Business, is committed to help minimize the impact of the pandemic on organisations and small to medium enterprises (SMEs), by providing productivity tools that enable seamless remote working. These include Smart Business, which offers free closed-user group (CUG) calls and unique data, voice and SMS bundles to support businesses.

Businesses can also leverage Vodafone technology including videoconferencing, internet telephony and cloud and hosting services, to conduct virtual meetings and share information quickly and securely with their employees. Businesses interested in this new working approach should email [email protected] to sign on.

Vodafone Business also launched Data Sharer to enable SMEs and their employees to utilize a single bulk data bundle whilst setting consumption limits for each individual based on their need and function. The product eliminates the tedious exercise of buying individual bundles for every employee as they work from home during this crucial time. Vodafone customers can access Data Sharer by dialing the USSD *5959# from their mobile handsets.

Support for Customers

One of Vodafone’s priorities has been to minimize the economic impact on its customer due to the current situation, whilst ultimately keeping them connected to the things that matter to them most. In view of this, Vodafone has made changes to some of its products to offer customers some relief:

Vodafone Cash: Vodafone Cash remains the only mobile money service that allows customers to send money to other Vodafone Cash users for free and uncapped. Vodafone has completely waived transfer charges to enable customers to save on transactions. Additionally, customers can send any amount below GH¢100 to the various mobile money services for free. Vodafone has also increased the transaction limits across the various tiers in line with the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) directive.

Fixed Broadband: Customers on Vodafone’s broadband have been empowered to do more with the introduction of the Telco’s highly sought after unlimited broadband product. The product enables heavy data users to enjoy unlimited data and exciting entertainment content with their families during this critical period.

Landline: Vodafone landline customers now have the luxury of connecting and interacting with their families, friends and loved ones on Vodafone mobile and fixed numbers for free. Customers can access this daily from 6 pm to 6 am and throughout weekends.

2 Moorch Data: Vodafone’s ‘2 Moorch Data’ proposition has been revamped to give customers more value and unmatched experience on the network during this period at the same price. Customers on this offer receive double data allocation daily between 12 midnight and 4 am.

Digitally Connecting with Customers

Vodafone has also empowered its customers to connect and interact with them using its digital channels including My Vodafone App and TOBi. TOBi, an industry’s first virtual assistant from Vodafone that performs customer care functions, provides 24-hour assistance to customers on products, services, and enquiries. TOBi is capable of addressing basic queries via messenger chat on social media and My Vodafone App. TOBi continues to improve itself by taking feedback and learning from its interactions with customers.

Vodafone’s self-care mobile application, My Vodafone App also allows customers to access unlimited services and manage their accounts from the comfort of their homes. Customers can download the very innovative app from the Google Playstore and Apple Store.

Support from Heroic Frontline

Vodafone’s dedicated field engineers, retail advisors, and customer service staff continue to demonstrate heroism during this challenging time, ensuring that customers are connected. By equipping them with the right protective gear and resources, Vodafone continues to ensure the safety and connectivity of customers as Ghana battles with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Telco has also technically equipped call centre agents with a setup, which allows them to handle customer complaints from their homes. Additionally, field engineers receive their work log directly on their phones eliminating the need to operate from the office.

Vodafone’s carefully developed comprehensive response to COVID-19 certainly addresses the pain points of consumers during this period whilst helping the country combat the global pandemic. It would be recalled that Vodafone announced several initiatives to complement the government’s preparedness for the Ebola virus during the outbreak in Africa. The Telco continues to demonstrate the commitment to helping the country deal with such contagions.

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