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Press Release

Ooredoo and Leo Messi Boost Programme for Children's Health to Three New Markets

Ooredoo and Leo Messi Foundation Expand successful Mobile Health Clinics Initiative from Indonesia to Myanmar, Tunisia and Algeria

PR Newswire

BARCELONA, Spain and DOHA, Qatar, May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ooredoo and the Leo Messi Foundation today announced a series of new initiatives that will transform their ongoing mobile health clinic programme in Indonesia into a global force for better healthcare in the developing world.

Leo Messi and Sheik Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo group.

The Ooredoo Mobile Health Clinics Initiative provides healthcare services in rural areas that do not have easy access to medical facilities. Launched in partnership with the Leo Messi Foundation in 2013, the programme aims to reach two million children by 2016, focusing on Ooredoo's markets in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Ooredoo's company Indosat originated the mobile health clinic programme in Indonesia. Following today's announcement, Ooredoo and the Leo Messi Foundation will expand the initiative to Myanmar, Algeria, and Tunisia, with dedicated mobile clinics for each country.

At a ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, held one year since the programme's launch in Qatar in 2013, Ooredoo Chairman H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani and football star Lionel "Leo" Messi formally announced the expansion to the three new markets.

H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo, said: "On behalf of Ooredoo, I'd like to thank Leo Messi for his personal involvement in our Ooredoo Mobile Health Clinics Initiative and we are excited about his commitment to visit these markets and see the mobile clinics in action. As our Global Brand Ambassador, he shares our vision for enriching people's lives and promoting human growth. The clinics have already made a striking impact in Indonesia, and we believe there is huge opportunity to promote better health for children in Myanmar, Algeria, and Tunisia in the months and years ahead."

Football star Lionel "Leo" Messi said: "I'm proud to be a part of this initiative. Children all around the world deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams and aspirations, and helping them to be healthy is one of the best ways we can ensure they have a good start in life. Ooredoo is a great partner to reach young people in the most deprived communities and provide real tangible hope and assistance."

In Indonesia, 16 mobile health clinics have provided free healthcare services for more than 600,000 people. The mobile health clinics have been particularly effective following natural disasters and emergencies, and have now expanded their activities to include providing medicine, vaccinations, and education on infectious diseases for children and their families.

Messi founded The Leo Messi Foundation in 2007 to support a wide range of healthcare initiatives, treating Chagas disease, malaria, children cancer, refurbishing hospitals, and offering medical scholarships focusing on cancer research and paediatrics.

By partnering with Ooredoo, the Foundation is further extending its reach. Ooredoo and the Leo Messi Foundation are working together to ensure that the services provided by the fleet of mobile clinics match to the healthcare needs of each individual market. In addition, Messi's support provides much-needed visibility and profile, thanks to the branded logos of the Leo Messi Foundation and Messi's image on the outside of the vehicles and the doctors' medical kits.

In order to ensure that the mobile health clinics provide the right mix of support in each country, Ooredoo is forming partnerships with leading NGOs and private sector organisations, both in countries with developing healthcare infrastructure, such as Myanmar, and those with highly-developed healthcare infrastructure such as Qatar.

In Qatar, Ooredoo has a strong history of supporting health initiatives for its wide demographic of customers. Projects include annual health camps for expatriate workers, sponsorship of educational lectures, and funding two major health centres in Doha.

In Myanmar, up to eight mobile health clinics will travel to rural and remote districts of the country, providing natal care, as well as prevention and treatment for routine infectious diseases and childhood illnesses.

In Algeria and Tunisia, Ooredoo will deploy fully-equipped vehicles to isolated villages and under-served areas, delivering community-based healthcare and first aid. The Red Crescent will provide doctors and nurses to manage daily operations and operate the health clinics.

At the event, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani and Leo Messi were joined by Dr Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo; Waleed Al Sayed, COO, Ooredoo Qatar; Alexander Rusli, President Director and CEO, Indosat; and Joseph Ged, CEO, Ooredoo Algeria.

About Ooredoo
Ooredoo is a leading international communications company delivering mobile, fixed, broadband internet and corporate managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses across markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. As a community-focused company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching people's lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential. Ooredoo has a presence in markets such as Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Palestine, the Maldives, Myanmar and Indonesia. The company was named "Best Mobile Operator of the Year" at the World Communication Awards 2013.

The company reported revenues of US$9.3 billion in 2013 and had a consolidated global customer base of more than 95 million people as of 31 December 2013. Ooredoo's shares are listed on the Qatar Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

About Leo Messi Foundation
The Leo Messi Foundation stems from an initiative launched by Leo Messi with the support of his family and striving to ensure that children around the world enjoy equal opportunities to make their dreams come true. Since 2007, it has been working tirelessly to accomplish its mission on behalf of children and adolescents whose health is at risk.

Whether on a national or international level, the projects conducted by the Foundation all focus on education and health, particularly the battle against Childhood cancer, Malaria and Chagas disease.

"I reached my dream of becoming a footballer. I fought hard to get here and I have to fight even harder to stay here. Today, I want to use my own efforts and my own success to help those children in most need because it moves me daily to see a child smile, when he thinks there is hope or when I see that he feels happy. That is why we decided to create the Leo Messi Foundation and I will keep fighting to make children happy with the same enthusiasm and dedication that drive me in pursuing my football career."  (Leo Messi)

Twitter: @Ooredoo

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