WASPAG donates GHS50,000 for Ebola research


Wireless Application Services Providers Association of Ghana (WASPAG) has donated GHS50,000 to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to support efforts at provide adequate and rapid testing and diagnosis of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

WASPAG comprises of the 20 registered telecoms industry Value Added Service (VAS) providers who usually provide short code, bulk SMS and several other services to a wide range of clients on the platforms of the telcos.

They are the second within the telecom industry to have made any donation toward to effort to prevent Ebola. Airtel Ghana has already donated 70 Infra-red guns for screening people for Ebola, valued at GHS25,000.  

Director, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for WASPAG, Conrad Nyur, who is also the CEO of Mobile Content told Adom Business the donation was in response to a request by Noguchi Memorial Institute for the private sector to support it to do research into finding early diagnostics to the scary Ebola Virus Disease.

“We felt obliged and motivated to do this because our industry serve about 80% of the customers of telcos, which is about 23million people and so we felt the need to contribute to any effort to protect these people from contracting the deadly disease,” he said.

He said WASPAG believes it was necessary for all corporate organizations serving clients locally to take it as a corporate social responsibility, and join efforts at keeping Ebola as far away from Ghanaians as possible.

“We therefore call on other corporate organizations in the country to follow our example and join the Ebola fight,” he said.

Meanwhile, TXTGhana, a member of WASPAG is working together with the Noguchi Memorial Institute to develop and voice SMS short code where Ghanaians can call and get information on Ebola.

A statement from Noguchi Memorial Institute noted that many Ghanaians have expressed concern about Ghana’s state of preparedness in dealing with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) menace that is currently sweeping through some West Africa countries.

It said as part of measures to effectively contain and combat the disease, countries need to have a credible well equipped facility for testing samples to confirm the presence of EVD.

“In Ghana, Noguchi is the only facility with the capacity to undertake testing and diagnosis of EVD, and  it is distressing to note that the facility lacks the necessary funding to purchase Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) EVD testing kits which are critical for effective diagnosis of the disease,” the statement said.

The Institute however noted that the support from WASPAG would go alone way to assist in making the country ready to prevent the disease from entering the shores of Ghana.

The Director-General of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Prof. Kwadwo Koram is however appealing to other corporate organization to come onboard and assist.

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