Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part corporate partner AECI is doing extraordinary work to help the ordinary in the Fight Against Covid-19.
South Africa has been applauded by the World Health Organisation(WHO) for managing to control the spread of the Coronavirus far more successfully than developed countries to date. Since the announcement of the first COVID-19 case, the government has worked tirelessly to ensure that its citizens are protected, that the spread is carefully monitored and that tough decisions are made to protect the nation.
The toughest action has been the nationwide lockdown, which has deeply challenged businesses and communities. Despite this, businesses have been working together with government to curb the spread of the virus.
One such business that has rolled up its sleeves to ensure the war against the pandemic is won is AECI.
AECI is a diversified Group of 16 companies. It has regional and international businesses in Africa, Europe, South East Asia, North America, South America and Australia. Products and services are provided to a broad spectrum of customers in the mining, water treatment, plant and animal health, food and beverage, infrastructure and general industrial sectors.
As Brand South Africa’s corporate Play Your Part partner, AECI understands the importance of active citizenship and were among the very first to mobilise a rapid response plan with the mission to help the most vulnerable communities in the country.
The AECI Group has invested over R 5 million rand in relief initiatives to address the vulnerable impacted by COVID-19.
These initiatives entail:
- PPE for medical staff in under-resourced hospitals;
- Provision of rapid testing kits;
- Hand washing stations at public clinics;
- Devices at communal taps to avoid transmission in densely populated areas;
- Household hand-washing devices;
- Provision of clean water and soap;
- Distribution of 10 000 bottles of sanitizer to vulnerable communities
- Distribution of food parcels
In less than 30 days, and in the midst of the lockdown, AECI has already helped improve the circumstances of over 5 million South Africans by:
- Sponsoring hand-washing programmes to the value of R1, 73 million. Intelligently strategised, these programmes will live beyond the coronavirus crisis and then target a reduction in diarrhea and other infectious diseases in high-density areas. This is critically important work in South Africa where diarrhea accounts for over 20% of fatalities for children under 5 but doesn’t gain the attention it deserves.
- Early identification that clinics and hospitals could become super-spreading sites if not well-resourced and managed and have donated uniquely designed and locally manufactured hand-washing stations. These stations will not help with hand-washing for patients but will be critical in protecting our front-line. The well-being of our health practitioners is critical in ensuring that we win our fight against this virus. The estimated reach of these stations in the current year is 15.5 million patients.
- Deploying health workers to support government efforts, donating government educational materials and hand hygiene products to those who need them most.
- Targeting child-headed households and orphanages by providing foot-operated stands at communal taps and 2L hand-washing units with bars of soap for use in people’s houses.
Brand South Africa commends AECI for their selfless work done in our vulnerable communities. It is in such acts of kindness displayed by AECI that helps rebuild our country and instill confidence in its people. It is not business as usual, but all efforts towards ridding the pandemic promises for a great future we all aspire for.
The next phase for AECI’s initiative is focused on food security relief programmes due to impact of the lockdown and job losses, sanitizer distribution to help protect people when moving around post-lockdown and donating rapid testing kits to help expand the net of testing.
AECI is calling out to other organisations to assist in this critical time. “Enabling communities with the right tools and education will empower them to stay safe at this particularly challenging time. Responsible engagement with our stakeholders, including communities and regulators, is a cornerstone of AECI’s values. We are indeed stronger together when we work together for a common purpose,” said Mark Dytor, AECI’s Chief Executive.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we will prevail. This is because South Africans have come together like never before to wage the struggle against this virus”. – SA President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa
For more information, visit aeciworld.com or contact:
C: 072 100 7343
Contributor: MD of Triple Eight, Sarika Modi. Triple Eight is a multinational impact agency, working in times of healthcare crises to co-ordinate efforts of governments and big business.