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MTN Foundation hands over blood storage equipment to Mbarara Regional Blood Bank

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By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda Foundation has officially handed over blood storage equipment to the Mbarara Regional blood bank under the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services (UBTS). This is in a bid to address the issue of blood shortage arising from inadequate blood storage equipment.

The state-of-the-art blood refrigerator was handed over to the Parliamentary Woman Representative for Mbarara Municipality, Hon. Rosette Kajungu Mutambi in a ceremony held on Thursday at the Mbarara Regional Blood Bank in Mbarara district.

This follows the telecom company’s pledge in July when it availed UGX. 347 million to procure the equipment that comprises of an automated plasma extractor and 3 blood refrigerators. The automated plasma extractor that will be stationed at the Nakasero Blood Bank will be used for the processing of blood plasma to extract components of red and white blood cells, and platelets for the Nakasero blood bank.

The three refrigerators will be delivered to the regional blood banks based at the regional referral hospitals in Mbarara, Mbale and Arua.

While handing over the equipment, Mr. Bryan Mbasa, the Acting Senior Manager, MTN Foundation reiterated MTN Uganda’s commitment to supporting government’s push towards meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.

“We are proud of this partnership with the UBTS and the Ministry of Health in complementing their efforts to make available this scarce resource of blood,” Mr. Mbasa said.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Dr. Andrew Byamungu, the principal Medical Officer at the Mbarara Regional Blood Bank noted that the refrigerators will address the issue of blood shortage that has been arising from inadequate storage facilities.

“In the past, we have been losing a lot of blood because of lack of adequate storage but that will no longer be an issue. We thank MTN for this refrigerator because it will enable us store blood and avail it to the hospital whenever they need it,” Dr. Byamungu said.

According to Byamungu, the Mbarara Regional blood bank serves 62 hospitals in sixteen districts in the western region of the country. He explains that blood is mostly consumed by anaemic children aged below five years, mothers after delivery, accident victims and other patients.

Mr. Gilbert Sande, the Head of Logistics at the Uganda Blood Transfusion Services said that with the new refrigerator donated by the MTN Foundation, Mbarara regional blood bank will be able to store more than twice the amount of blood they have been storing.

“We had storage capacity of 300 units. But now with the new refrigerator that stores over 700 units, we shall be able to have over 1000 units of blood at any one time,” Mr. Sande

While receiving the equipment, Hon. Kajungu thanked the MTN Foundation for working together with the government for the good of the people of Uganda.

“Thank you MTN Foundation Uganda for this equipment. It will go a long way in addressing the blood shortage issues that arise from lack of adequate storage of donated blood to save lives,” Hon. Kajungu said. “The MTN Foundation has shown its passion for maternal health. By supporting safe blood storage, more mothers will be saved since more blood will be available, thanks to this initiative.”

Mbarara becomes the first regional blood bank to receive its equipment. Arua and Mbale are set to receive theirs in due course.

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MTN Uganda launches 5G connectivity, first in East Africa and 3rd in Africa with connection

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MTN Uganda has today taken internet connectivity to another level. With fourth-generation (4G) technology still staggering, the leading telecom company in Uganda has introduced 5G connectivity. At an event today at the offices in Kololo, MTN Uganda demonstrated the first live demo of 5G network in Uganda in an event presided over by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhana Rugunda who represented President Yoweri Museveni fulfilling their earlier promise to commercially roll out 5G in before 2020 ends.“5G will make our life better, drive incremental capacity and open up new businesses. MTN as a company is constantly making efforts to break barriers by democratizing voice and data connectivity in order to improve subscriber experience,” said MTN Uganda’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte.

It is also expected that with an adequate spectrum allocated to the 5G standard, the increased capacity would result in lower data cost to Uganda.

MTN is working with South Korean firm ZTE the market leaders in 5G. ZTE is already working with operators to out 5+.

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Local Business

MTN MoMoPay Customers to win free shopping worth UGX 1,000,000 in a Trolley Dash experience.

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By Staff Writer

MTN is set to reward its customers who have embraced paying for their goods and services using the Telecom giant’s mobile payment platform, MTN MoMo Pay.

MoMo Pay is an MTN service that allows customers to pay for their goods and services directly from their mobile money accounts using their mobile devices at no cost. Retailers and businesses receive the payments for the goods and services instantly.

Up to 20 customers will be selected from a draw to participate in a trolley dash where they shall be allowed to shop merchandise of up to 1 million shillings in 60 seconds. To stand a chance to enter the draw, customers are required to make 2 MoMoPay transactions each week. 

Ali Monzer the General Manager Mobile Financial Services said the promotion is MTN’s way of giving back to customers for adopting the service one year since it was launched. “The response from customers has been overwhelming. Many of the people have appreciated the convenience of having to pay for all their goods and services using MoMo Pay. Thus we felt the need to thank them by giving back to them and that’s why we launched this promotion.”

MoMo Pay is MTN’s way of creating convenience for customers and merchants alike. “The world is going cashless today. It’s now more convenient to go cashless than to carry lots of cash on you. You can literally run your life using MoMo Pay. You can pay for your meals, medication, car service, shopping and several other services using MoMo Pay,” Monzer said.

This service is available to merchants who register for the service and all MTN Mobile Money customers.

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Local Business

Harvest Money Expo 4th edition launched

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dfcu Bank in partnership with Vision Group and the Netherlands Embassy have launched this year’s edition of the Harvest Money Expo that will take place from 14 th – 16 th February, at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole.

Under the theme ‘Value Addition’, dfcu Bank and its partners seek to improve production and marketing of agricultural products to increase the commodity value in order to ensure a rise in sales, market growth and that farmers get a good price for their products.

The Harvest Money Expo initiative, now in its 4th edition, aims to highlight the contribution of agriculture to the development of the economy and also change the negative perception that most Ugandans hold towards agriculture as not being a good career option.

Speaking during the Expo launch, dfcu Bank’s CEO, Mathias Katamba, said; “The economy of Uganda can be transformed through mechanization improvement of agriculture, commercialization and taking advantage of the unique nature of our country’s weather and soils. As dfcu Bank, we would like to offer more support to the agricultural industry by giving farmers access to equipment for agricultural mechanization through our asset financing product.”

Mr. Katamba also reiterated the need to get young people involved in agriculture to grow the sector.

Last year, over 28,000 people attended the Harvest Money Expo. This year, the sponsors and organizers are aiming for a target of over 35,000 people who will include; farmers, business representatives, the general public, foreign exhibitors from various countries. The Netherlands Embassy has promised to have a ‘Netherlands Village’ at the Expo, where 48 companies including 16 top Dutch agriculture companies will showcase, share knowledge and farming experiences.

The Vision Group CEO, Robert Kabushenga said; “The Harvest Money Expo has become a calendar event for every farmer because of the benefits they get from it. It is also a social event where people come to socialize and share knowledge.”

This year’s Harvest Money Expo will also have in attendance all the past winners of the Best farmers’ competition.

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