Serengeti Breweries joins the battle against coronavirus pandemic

21May 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Serengeti Breweries joins the battle against coronavirus pandemic

ONE of the domestic market’s leading brewer, Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL), has joined the war to fight against the spreading of the novel coronavirus pandemic by making donations, equipping its staff and clients with personal protective equipment worth millions of shillings.

Serengeti Breweries Limited’s sales representative in Tanga region, George Rweyemamu (R) handing over part of Covid-19 awareness materials to Mohamed Khalifa, a representative of Tanga Regional Medical Officer's office. SBL help the government ship the materials countrywide in April. Photo courtesy of SBL.

SBL is one of the stakeholders that have waged a war against the coronavirus by supporting government efforts through Ministry of Health and other institutions through provision of an assortment of items and materials.  

In March this year SBL partnered with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children in sensitizing the public about the scourge by donating and distributing educative materials across the country.

In this endeavor, the brewer assisted the government to distribute the posters and fliers with health tips that facilitate the raising of public awareness and sensitization on the pandemic countrywide. In April, SBL boosted government’s efforts to stop the spreading of Covid-19 in the country by donating 1,250 litres of hand-sanitizers which were handed over to Ministry of Health in Dar es Salaam.

The brewer’s Corporate Affairs Director, John Wanyancha said the company’s gesture was in line with its corporate social responsibility policy of contributing to the society’s social wellbeing. “The Covid-19 pandemic currently poses as the most catastrophic global health calamity of the century and the greatest challenge to the survival of humankind since the second World War,” Wanyancha said.

He pointed out that the pandemic whose source is Chinese town of Wuhan in Hubei Province where the virus first surfaced in December 2019, has caused a lot of damage both socially and economically to Tanzanians some of who have lost jobs and lives.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) code-named this new infectious respiratory disease Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019),” Wanyancha noted adding that till now there is no report of any clinically approved antiviral drugs or vaccines proven to be effective against the novel Covid-19.

“It has rapidly spread around the world, posing enormous health, economic, environmental and social challenges to the entire human population,” the SBL Corporate Director added while pointing out that the Covid-19 outbreak has severely disrupted the global economy.

Almost all the nations are struggling to slow down the transmission of the disease by testing and treating patients, quarantining suspected cases through contact-tracing, restricting large gatherings, and maintaining complete or partial lockdown in areas that are adversely affected. 

Terrifyingly, the disease continues to spread at an alarming speed globally, resulting in significant health impacts on countries and communities in many parts of the world.  In Tanzania, although not as widely spread as many other African countries, the government has worked hard in close collaboration with other stakeholders to fight the killer virus.

While little is known about the virus, the disease is known to be transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person generated through coughing and sneezing. Individuals can also be infected from touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their faces with their hands.

“The war against coronavirus is a challenging one for everyone, everywhere. It is also a very expensive war and as a result people need to work together,” said Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa recently. Majaliwa is leading a national COVID-19 Relief Committee which is tasked with mobilizing resources to curb the virus spreading.

Wanyancha who also commended the PM for his exemplary leadership, said SBL appreciates the fact that the government has strengthened its collaboration with the private sector to scale up the acquisition of essential materials for use by the general public and health workers in managing the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

“We understand the importance of playing our role as much as we can to increase public awareness in order to combat this infectious disease that poses an unpredictable danger to mankind, a cause that we are committed to,” he pledged.

The corporate relations director also notes that apart from the donation to the Ministry, the brewer has also provided sanitizers and masks to its field and factory staff as well as its distributors across the country to keep them safe from contracting the virus. SBL has about 800 employees and works with dozens of distributors in the country.

For its role in helping government stop the pandemic, Minister for Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, thanked the brewer’s management for complementing state efforts against the pandemic.

“The war against Covid-19 is a challenge that all of us are facing hence need to come together because it is equally expensive. Let’s all come together to save lives,” Mwalimu said after receiving SBL’s donation of sanitizers.

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