Health, News, People

Lending a Hand: The Coca-Cola System on the COVID-19 frontlines

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our way of life with its attendant changes, many have been left far vulnerable to the pandemic’s effects, especially those who have contracted the virus and have been quarantined, so also nurses and doctors on the frontlines helping nurse these patients back to health.

A common thread here is that both healthcare workers and patients are subjected to isolation and a considerable amount of mental stress in the process. In an interview with UNICEF in early April, Dr. Uzezi Emuophedaro, a well-known medical practitioner expressed her fears regarding the rising spate of COVID-19 cases. Fast forward to three weeks later, and these fears have unfortunately manifested, with the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria currently over 3000.

Fortunately for health workers overwhelmed by the situation, the pandemic has presented an opportunity for individuals and corporate organisations to rise up to the occasion by showing support to those in need. Two weeks ago, Coca-Cola sponsored “One World: Together At Home” – a global initiative organised in partnership with Global Citizen, focused on celebrating health workers on the frontlines across the world.

The Coca-Cola System, comprising Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), has also remained incredibly steadfast since documented cases of the disease began to peak. To combat these harrowing developments, the Coca-Cola System has consistently provided relief materials to health workers and patients. Recently, donations comprising numerous cases of water, were provided to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and prior to this, NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria made beverage donations for hydration and refreshment of patients and healthcare workers at Isolation and Treatment Centres across Nigeria. 

As part of efforts to also support the Nigerian healthcare system, the Coca-Cola Foundation recently made a significant donation through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), by providing personal protective equipment to workers on the frontlines. These efforts will not only mitigate the attendant effects of the pandemic on communities but will also assist in reducing the current patient saturation at Isolation Centers across the country.

Without question, Coca-Cola’s commitment to providing relief to Nigerians during this peculiar time runs rather deep. Recently, its associates through its community drive, raised collective resources to feed Nigerian families struggling to stay afloat. The initiative, named the #CokeCares Food Support Programme, will directly address the needs of a sizeable number of families in Nigeria.

For spectators, these gestures might be well within the status-quo, but for those on the frontlines, it is a reassuring pat on the back – one that signifies consideration and appreciation, an indication of solidarity as we all come together with one voice to battle the current ravaging pandemic.

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