Ecobank Nigeria has pledged it’s commitment and financial support to the fight against non-communicable diseases. The Managing Director Ecobank Nigeria Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan said this over the weekend during the bank’s cancer awareness walk in Lagos as part of the commemoration of Ecobank Day. Ecobank Day is a special day set aside every year by Ecobank Group, for management and staff of the bank to embark on CSR activities that impacts its immediate environment and people. The theme for this year’s edition is “Preventing Non Communicable Diseases” with special focus on “Cancer Awareness” Ecobank Day holds simultaneously in the 33/countries in Africa where the bank operates.
According to Akinwuntan, “We started the Ecobank Day in 2013 where we picked the first Saturday of every October to come together across our 36 countries to pick an item where we can add value to the society. This year, we decided that non communicable diseases deserve to be highlighted.’
He said the bank choose to support these cause because of its mortality rate and the need to encourage the people on regular check-ups to prevent the disease. He said this year the bank would financially support a few selection of cancer patients nationwide and as well as cancer prevention awareness campaigns. “For 3 years, we are going to focus on preventing non communicable diseases and this year we are focusing on cancer.”
Furthermore he added: “For us, across all the venues today, we are offering either subsidised or free check-up for all the participants, work force, family and friends in order to check our health status and take care of early prevention.”
“And for those that the cancer impact is much higher, we would bring people together to contribute money to support them as they go through their cancer treatment. So for us in Ecobank Nigeria, you can go to our mobile app and you would see under our pay bills Ecobank cares and you are able to contribute so we support people battling cancer.”
On his part, the Chief Risk Officer Mr. Biyi Olagbami who also doubles as the lead CSR champion for Ecobank Nigeria said the bank plans to intensify its CSR activities nationwide. He said: “In Ecobank, we take our CSR very seriously and we do this across all our presence countries “This should be the spring board to a stronger impact going forward. We have been doing this for a few years and we don’t intend to stop instead we intend to increase the intensity of our activity in this area.”
The cancer awareness walk took place simultaneously in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. The “walk” in Lagos led by its Managing Director and other Management staff kicked off at the bank’s headquarters on Ahmadu Bello Way through major streets on Lagos Island and it attracted accolades from passersby along the route. The event also witnessed health talk by cancer specialists, speeches and testimonies from cancer survivors including free cancer screening.