The leading pan-African banking group, the Ecobank Group has celebrated its eighth annual Ecobank Day, which is the Group’s flagship annual event, showing commitment and giving back to its local communities across 33 African countries. This year’s theme is ‘Take Action Against Diabetes’ and it marks the second stage of a three-year campaign to raise awareness and help prevent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Thus, Ecobank has partnered with the NCD Alliance, a Geneva-based global civil network dedicated to preventing NCDs all around the world.
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are already the leading cause of deaths worldwide and the number of cases is growing rapidly across Africa*. Despite this, NCDs have insufficient prominence in Africa’s health agenda.
NCDs are chronic diseases which are not passed from person to person. The main types are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks or strokes), cancers, respiratory diseases (e.g. asthma); diabetes; and mental and neurological health conditions (including depression and dementia).
Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘Diabetes and other Non-Communicable Diseases are on the rise across Africa. Diabetes causes serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves and if not addressed quickly, untimely death. Approximately 60% of Africans with Diabetes are unaware that they have it and at Ecobank, we are determined to raise awareness about the disease and other NCDs, as well as the importance of healthy lifestyles in preventing these diseases. We are working closely with the NCD Alliance to ensure that our three-year campaign has maximum impact in helping to save African lives.’
On her part, Ms Katie Dain, NCD Alliance CEO, said: ‘It is fantastic to see such leadership from a bank, in raising awareness of diabetes and other NCDs amongst its employees and communities. Effectively addressing NCDs will require collaboration across all sectors, which is why we are very happy about our partnership with Ecobank. We look forward to drawing upon their expertise in financial management to train NCD civil society advocates across the African continent.’
Activities aimed at raising awareness about Diabetes, included informational webinars and controlled screening in strict adherence to measures outlined by various governments to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Approximately 60% of Africans with Diabetes are unaware that they have it and at Ecobank is determined to raise awareness about the disease and other NCDs
- bank Day events were held virtually, to ensure safety from COVID-19, and included
- A pan-African webinar in partnership with NCD Alliance to raise awareness about Diabetes and other NCDs, and how to address the extra challenges and stress people with Diabetes may be facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A ‘Take Action Against Diabetes’ campaign on social media to assist and encourage healthy lifestyle behaviours.
The Ecobank Group has announced a total contribution of about 100,000 USD from its affiliates across the continent. The proceeds will go to the NCDA Solidarity Fund which supports national and regional NCD alliances in addressing the critical needs of people living with NCDs during COVID-19
Ecobank Day is an annual event which commenced in 2013 and some of the past initiatives focused on support for orphanages, safe water management, maternal health and Malaria prevention.