Access Bank deepens fight against fistula with nationwide walkathon

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.

GNA

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