MTN Ghana renews partnership with UNICEF to save lives
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
As part of MTN Ghana’s commitment to brighten the lives of its customers and to ensure that Ghanaians across the country continues to receive essential information on health and social issues through a digital platform known as Agoo has renewed its partnership with UNICEF with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Accra.
The partnership between the two organisations began two years ago amid concerns about the outbreak of the Ebola and cholera. It is aimed at bringing relief and alleviating the fear and anxiety of Ghanaians through the provision of a toll free number where Ghanaians could receive real time answers to questions on the minds of people who call to enquire about epidemics.
Speaking at a brief signing ceremony held at the Iconic MTN House, the Chief Marketing Officer for MTN Ghana Asher Khan revealed that MTN and UNICEF partnership afforded Ghanaians the opportunity to call and receive responses to their queries in those critical moments. MTN customers assessed the service by calling the toll-free number 5100 whilst non MTN Customers were also served by calling 0540 118 999.
He noted that two years down the line, the service has grown and has proven successful.
“427 calls were received daily in the initial stages; over 2,000 calls are received daily since last year (2016). In the light of the success of this partnership, MTN is continuing this partnership with UNICEF”
Mr. Khan stressed that one interesting about the this year’s partnership between MTN Ghana and UNICEF is the addition of Social Protection to the already existing information on Malaria, Avian Influenza, Cholera, Meningitis, Ebola and Tuberculosis among others.
“Children and the Youth can also benefit from tips on sanitation among others. More importantly the partnership also affords the younger generation protection from violence, counseling to refrain from missing out on school, learn basic tips on healthy lifestyle such as the importance of hand washing and good hygiene,” he said.
In her remarks the UNICEF Ghana Representative, Rushnan Murtaza also disclosed that the Agoo platform has been very successful because it harnesses the power and popularity of the mobile phone and shares information that is relevant to young people – their social and physical wellbeing.
She said the Agoo platform is empowering for young girls and boys across Ghana. “We greatly value our partnership with MTN on this exciting and innovative initiative which has so far shown remarkable results. We are delighted to commit ourselves to this partnership for another two years,” she added.
Since 2015, Agoo has provided health information to over 900, 000 callers, 55% of whom were females. Agoo is bridging the gender and age gaps and making accurate information accessible to over 87% of its callers below 25 years. The huge response to the mobile interface is now set to widen its reach and relevance to the youth of Ghana. Over the years, Agoo has transitioned from an Agent-operated Call Centre in the first phase to an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.