Ac­cess Bank com­mem­o­rates World Mos­quito Day 2018

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Contents - By Fi­nan­cial Nige­ria

Malaria is a life-threat­en­ing dis­ease caused by par­a­sites that are trans­mit­ted among hu­mans by in­fected fe­male Anophe­les mos­qui­toes. In 2016, there were an es­ti­mated 216 mil­lion cases of malaria in 91 coun­tries. This con­sti­tutes an in­crease of five mil­lion cases com­pared to 2015. Malaria deaths reached 445,000 in 2016, while 446,000 deaths were recorded in the pre­vi­ous year.

The Sub Sa­ha­ran Africa re­gion car­ries a dis­pro­por­tion­ately high share of the global malaria bur­den. In 2016, the re­gion was home to 90% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths. At coun­try level, Nige­ria ac­counts for the world’s great­est malaria bur­den. Ap­prox­i­mately 51 mil­lion cases and 207,000 deaths are re­ported an­nu­ally ( about 30% of the to­tal malaria bur­den in Africa) are in Nige­ria. Mean­while, 97% of the coun­try’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion (ap­prox­i­mately 173 mil­lion) is at risk of in­fec­tion.

To­day, lead­ing pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tions are com­ing to­gether to pool re­sources to fight against this deadly dis­ease. In­deed, malaria ac­counts for a ma­jor share of global in­vest­ments in health. Over the years, Ac­cess Bank Plc has con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the fight against the dis­ease. In 2010, the Bank’s SME Work­place Pol­icy Pro­gramme pro­vided train­ing to en­hance the ca­pac­ity of 250 SMEs to en­able them de­velop work­place poli­cies and scale-up health pro­grammes, which ad­dress mul­ti­ple health chal­lenges, in­clud­ing malaria.

Also in 2010, Ac­cess Bank con­trib­uted US$1 mil­lion to Global Fund’s ‘Gift from Africa’ project. The do­na­tion was used by Global Fund to im­ple­ment var­i­ous strate­gic projects to com­bat malaria, amongst other dis­eases across Africa.

In 2016, the Bank launched the Malaria-toZero ini­tia­tive. The ini­tia­tive is aimed at scal­ing-up the im­pact of na­tional malaria in­ter­ven­tions in Nige­ria by gal­vanis­ing pri­vate sec­tor re­sources to close the fund­ing gap in the coun­try’s malaria elim­i­na­tion agenda. Through this ini­tia­tive, over 30,000 Long Last­ing In­sec­ti­cide Nets (LLINs) have been dis­trib­uted so far to com­mu­ni­ties and pri­mary health cen­tres. Over 4,537 preg­nant women have been reached, and over one mil­lion peo­ple have been sen­si­tized on malaria, its preven­tion and man­age­ment.

Fur­ther­more, Ac­cess Bank’s Group CEO, Her­bert Wigwe, serves as the co-Chair of Cor­po­rate Al­liance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA), a group of pri­vate sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tions with busi­ness in­ter­ests in Africa. CAMA pools ef­forts to com­bat malaria on the con­ti­nent. The Bank is also a mem­ber of the Global Busi­ness Coali­tion on Health (GBC Health) – a coali­tion of more than 230 com­pa­nies work­ing to im­prove the health of their work­forces and com­mu­ni­ties around the world. The group’s fo­cus ar­eas in­clude re­duc­ing ma­ter­nal, new-born and child mor­tal­ity; and ad­vanc­ing ef­forts to com­bat HIV, TB and malaria.

As part of the global ef­forts to fight malaria and its im­pact, on the 20th of Au­gust, every year, the world comes to­gether to com­mem­o­rate World Mos­quito Day (WMD). The day is com­mem­o­rated and cel­e­brated to mark the his­toric dis­cov­ery made by Bri­tish med­i­cal doc­tor, Sir Roland Ross. He dis­cov­ered in 1897 that fe­male mos­qui­toes are re­spon­si­ble for trans­mit­ting malaria among hu­mans.

WMD aims to bring aware­ness to peo­ple all over the world about the causes of malaria dis­ease, its ef­fects, and pre­ven­tive mea­sures. This aware­ness is also ex­pected to help in rais­ing funds for malaria-re­lated re­search.

Ac­cess Bank, as part of its com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing the health of com­mu­ni­ties where the Bank op­er­ates, joined the world on this global ini­tia­tive, part­ner­ing with CAMA, GBC Health and HACEY Health Ini­tia­tive to com­mem­o­rate the WMD 2018 through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of strate­gic en­gage­ment pro­grammes. These pro­grammes in­cluded sen­si­ti­sa­tion of the gen­eral pub­lic on malaria, its preven­tion and man­age­ment; and dis­tri­bu­tion of LLINs across un­der­served com­mu­ni­ties in western Nige­ria.

Fur­ther­more, a short video doc­u­men­tary on malaria aimed at ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple on chal­lenges and ac­tions to end malaria across Africa was dis­trib­uted across var­i­ous on­line and tra­di­tional me­dia plat­forms. Me­dia in­ter­views to educate the gen­eral pub­lic on the deadly dis­ease were ex­e­cuted across dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions na­tion-wide. Also, a mas­sive aware­ness cam­paign was ex­e­cuted on so­cial me­dia, reach­ing thou­sands of Nige­ri­ans.

Speak­ing on the WMD 2018, Omobolanle Vic­tor-Laniyan, Ac­cess Bank’s Head of Sus­tain­abil­ity, ex­plained that, “ac­cord­ing to the World Malaria Re­port 2017, the global response to malaria is at a cross­roads. Af­ter an un­prece­dented pe­riod of suc­cess in malaria con­trol, progress has stalled and the cur­rent pace is in­suf­fi­cient to achieve the 2020 mile­stones of the WHO Global Tech­ni­cal Strat­egy for Malaria 2016–2030. We must, there­fore, in­crease our ef­forts and scale-up strate­gic in­ter­ven­tions as the pri­vate sec­tor – work­ing hand-in-hand with stake­hold­ers in the pub­lic sec­tor – to in­crease our im­pacts lo­cally in or­der to con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to the global progress on malaria elim­i­na­tion.”

Ac­cess Bank, as a lead­ing fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion driv­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in Africa and across the world, con­tin­ues to show its com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing good health and well-be­ing for all, through its strate­gic and in­no­va­tive part­ner­ships, in­vest­ments, in­ter­ven­tions and ini­tia­tives. The Bank aims to scale-up the pos­i­tive out­comes, which in­clude cre­at­ing truly healthy and sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.