The First National Bank Ghana has launched the Accelerated Support for Pandemic Intervention and Relief Effort (ASPIRE) to assist the Government and its stakeholders in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASPIRE is a rapid response fund to address the critical and immediate healthcare needs in Ghana.
Mr Richard Hudson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said ASPIRE would help increase the capacity of COVID-19 critical testing and tracing with focus on supporting local medical innovators and entrepreneurs.
“Through ASPIRE we are collaborating with these proven local innovators to provide the needed apparatus for testing availability, ventilators and front-line protective cover,” he added.
Mr Hudson said the initiative was Ghana’s version of a special one rolled out by the First National Bank’s parent company, the FirstRand Group in South Africa, which is the South African Pandemic Intervention and Relief Effort (SPIRE).
He said with GHc200,000 ASPIRE anchor funding, the First National Bank Ghana would procure test kits with support from the FirstRand Group for delivery to primary treatment centres.
“The fund will also support the setup of a six-month insurance package for selected staff at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research, and produce home-made hand washing machines and ventilators.”
Mr Delali Dzidzienyo, the Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the First National Bank Ghana, said: “This is just the beginning of what we believe we can do to help combat the impact of COVID-19 in Ghana.’
He said supporting the healthcare system was where it mattered most, and the ASPIRE Fund would help curtail the spread of the pandemic across the country.
He said before the launch of ASPIRE, the Bank launched relief packages to help both individual and corporate customers against the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These initiatives aim to give customers some leeway to reorganise their finances, which may have been negatively affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.