Accra, Dec. 2, GNA -
Access Bank Ghana has held a day’s Walkathon across the country in furtherance
of its commitment to fund the fight against Fistula in the country.
The walkathon was part of a campaign dubbed “Fist against Fistula”, a part of the Bank’s larger objective to support Ghana to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in response to the high incidence of Fistula cases in Ghana.
The 10-kilometer walk, held to mark the Bank’s 10th anniversary celebration, was aimed at raising awareness and securing charitable funds for the National Task Team for the Elimination of Obstetric Fistula, a body mandated to oversee and coordinate fistula interventions in the country.
A statement from the Bank and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the walk was held in over 10 regional locations including Accra and Kumasi.
Overall, the event brought together more than 1,300 guests, partners, customers, community leaders and employees of the bank.
Gracing the event were several dignitaries including Madam Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health.
Mr Olumide Olatunji, the Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, according to the statement said, the bank financed the treatment of 100 fistula patients at the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital in Mankessim last year in the “Fist against Fistula” campaign.
The bank said in collaborating with more stakeholders in Phase Two of the campaign to intensify the advocacy, help remove the stigma and attract funds to finance more surgeries for affected women, he said.
Mrs Cynthia Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, in a speech read on her behalf, expressed appreciation to the bank for the exercise and awareness campaign, the statement said.
She said though significant gains have been made in advancing the welfare of women and children in the country, there was more to be done.
Government, she said, was committed to meeting all the targets set under the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with the help of critical stakeholders such as Access Bank.
Nana Adu Kyeremateng, the Head of Corporate Communications of the Bank, was quoted as saying: “We are using our award winning Employee Volunteering Programme (EVP), which gives us a footfall of more than 1,000 volunteers to garner more support for this initiative. Everyone should really desire the opportunity of being part of the story we are writing in Ghana’s history to kick out Fistula for good before 2030”.
Professor Anyetei Tonyeli Lassey, Chairman of the National Task Team for the Elimination of Obstetric Fistula, which operates under the Ghana Health Service, said the growing incidence of obstetric fistula cases in the country, currently over 1,300 cases annually, was worrying and required a concerted effort from corporate bodies to address the issue.
“We thank Access Bank for spearheading this fight and involving key stakeholders to drive this campaign. I also want to use this opportunity to make a clarion call for more corporate bodies to join in this fight,” he said.
The statement said the most common types of conditions affecting women are Arteriovenous Fistula, an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein; Anal Fistula, an infected tunnel between the skin and the anus and the Obstetric Fistula which is the abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina.
Early symptoms include painful urination and rectal bleeding which must be reported immediately.
Partners for the campaign include the Ministries of Health and Gender, children and Social Protection, National Task Team for the Elimination of Obstetric Fistula, UNFPA, Kaysens Gaisie Limited, Kasapreko and the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital among others.
Access Bank Ghana, is one of the leading retail banks in the country and revered for its thought leadership initiatives in the area of sustainability.
It operates across 51 locations in 10 regions.