Monrovia — Ecobank Liberia, in collaboration with the Liberia Cancer Society and the Liberia Athletics Federation, organized a walk competition last Saturday to mark Ecobank Day 2019. The walk was intended to create mass awareness of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), especially cancers, and to also draw public attention to their prevention and treatment.
Ecobank Day is a special day set aside every year by the Ecobank Group, for management and staff of the bank to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities that impact its immediate environment and people. The day, which was held under the theme: "Prevention and Health Promotion", with special focus on cancers, was held simultaneously in 33 countries in Africa where the bank operates.
NCDs are chronic diseases which are not passed from person to person. The main types are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks or strokes), all cancers, respiratory diseases (e.g. asthma); diabetes; and mental and neurological health conditions (including depression and dementia).
NCDs are already the leading cause of death worldwide and the number of cases is growing rapidly across Africa. According to the World Health Organization NCDs are responsible for over 30 per cent of all reported adult deaths in most African countries. In Liberia, NCDs are responsible for 31% of adult deaths, out of which cardiovascular diseases alone account for 13%.
In his message, Mr. George Mensah-Asante, the Managing Director of Ecobank Liberia, said the choice of this year's theme was to further raise awareness on non-communicable diseases, with particularly emphasis on cancer. He announced that Ecobank for the next three years was focusing attention on reducing the effects of NCDs and their harmful impact on society.
"We are commencing the roll-out of the three-year plan under the theme: Preventing NCDs in African Communities with three sub-themes each year. There are things that each of us can do to lessen the likelihood of getting an NCD: stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, having a healthier diet, eating less salt and taking regular exercises. It's a mindset that we need to instill in ourselves, our families and friends and all other Liberians" Mr. Mensah-Asante said.
He further stated that Ecobank's main objective in 2019 was to create awareness on NCDs, specifically cancer, in order to prevent their occurrence.
Dr. Sopouassi Victor Nicholas King, CNGOF/Chair OBGYN Dept Redemption Hospital, said the majority of NCDs, including Cancer are preventable through healthy lifestyles.
Substantial evidence exists to show that higher levels of physical activity lowers the risks of getting several cancers and other NCDs.
Also, as part of activities to commemorate the day, there was a health talk by the President of the Liberia Cancer Society (LCS) Dana Van EE and a testimony from a cancer survivor.
Established in Monrovia, Liberia in 1999, Ecobank Liberia is a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), with over 44ATMs, 61 Point of Sales (POS) Terminals, as well as over 16 branches and cash centers in Montserrado, Nimba, Lofa, Margibi, Grand Bassa and Maryland Counties. Ecobank Liberia is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Additional information on Ecobank can be found at ecobank.com.