COVID-19 has been saved
The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread economic impacts, with unprecedented unemployment disproportionately impacting women, historically disadvantaged communities, and other vulnerable populations.
Deloitte’s focus during the past year has been on deploying our global capabilities to help clients respond and recover, on enabling our professionals to stay healthy and perform at the highest levels possible, and on helping communities bounce back.
We have been actively implementing a coordinated response across our global network, engaging with international donor organisations, ministries of health, the private sector and NGOs while participating in government-sponsored COVID-19 task forces that advise governments on distressed sectors.
Through our Impact Every Day initiatives, we provided and promoted much needed health, economic and livelihood support to respond to the overwhelming need for help in local communities.
Capacitating our resources to help
Deloitte Africa established a COVID-19 Project Management Office (PMO) as soon as the pandemic reached our shores to ensure an orchestrated approach to protecting our people, our business and our clients from its devastating effects. Our people initiated fundraising and community support projects, hosted recovery workshops for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and worked with several clients, industry associations and government departments across Africa on a pro bono basis to find solutions to the challenges presented by lockdowns. We continue to offer insights on our social media channels and via webinars to help companies navigate the impacts of the pandemic on their business.
The nature and depth of Deloitte Africa’s support in response to the pandemic has extended from assisting Namibia’s Department of Finance to ensure that an Emergency Income Grant reached 749,000 people in need, to developing geographical spatial modelling to map the spread of infections in densely populated areas and identify locations for isolating facilities.
Our epidemiological modelling has been used to project the demand for ICU and high care beds, while public transport modelling was used to estimate the number of daily commuters, and thus the rate of infections, across various modes of public transport while the economy was gradually reopening. The firm supported Business for South Africa (B4SA), the business body created to guide business response to COVID-19, in creating a technology platform that was used to monitor the demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in South Africa.
Adopting a people-first approach
With the wellbeing of our people a priority, interventions were created to help them cope with feelings of isolation, balance work and family demands while working remotely, and overcome the lack of in-person connections. These include regular online workshops with experts on exercise, psychology, nutrition and financial fitness. Deloitte has also partnered with our employee wellness provider in ensuring their specialists are accessible to employees, specifically to support our Deloitte female workforce in overcoming anxiety, stress and burnout that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Our Connect for Mental Wellbeing sessions have allowed for intimate conversations with our women that highlight their daily struggles. The sessions are also helping in empowering participants with the tools and techniques necessary to navigate this difficult and disruptive new reality.
To support the vaccine drive, we hosted webinars to address concerns about the vaccine, and facilitated vaccinations at our offices. When Namibia’s hospitals were at full capacity and accessing oxygen became near impossible, Deloitte purchased two oxygen machines for employee and immediate family usage.
In our West Africa region, medical doctors were appointed to support and advise Deloitte people in the Nigeria and Ghana offices who had contracted the virus and were being treated, while the firm ensured employees were kept informed and updated on the pandemic at all times. The East Africa region provided Uber services to employees who did not have private transport to commute to work, and employee medical insurance plans were upgraded to cover counselling and COVID-19 related symptoms. We will continue to offer various resources to support our people and help them take care of one another.