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Access Bank Participates in CAMA Dialogue Series


Drawing from experiences and data garnered from operating in various African countries, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, highlighted technological innovation, compelling storytelling and public-private partnerships as crucial to eradicating malaria across the African continent. Wigwe made this contribution at the GBC Health organised and Access Bank sponsored second event of the CAMA Dialogue Series, held in commemoration of World Malaria Day.

The high-level event which was themed “Combat Malaria in Africa: Lessons and Opportunities”, brought together relevant global stakeholders to discuss how to ensure progress in the fight to end malaria during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The conference also marked the launch of the CAMA partners’ End Malaria Project: a call to action to support greater collaboration and coordination in the elimination of malaria.

With a 12-country presence within Africa, and a projected 15- country presence by the end of 2021, Access Bank has been able to gather relevant data on malaria and other endemic diseases, and also identify key areas that have the potential to greatly impact its eradication.

Speaking on behalf of Wigwe, the Deputy Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna, said, “If there’s anything our experience has shown us over the course of the last two years, it is that these problems in themselves are not insurmountable, and that there are many opportunities that COVID and the backdrop of the last 12-18 months suggests in the fight against malaria.”

He further highlighted the impact of technological advancement in healthcare, saying, “We have seen the work that many Tech brands are doing in providing alternative perspectives on healthcare. Technological innovations have also made access to healthcare cheaper, and has made it easier to take healthcare to the most remote parts of the African continent.”

Emphasising the role of public-private partnerships as well as storytelling in the elimination of malaria from the continent, Wigwe pointed out that, it is not possible for the public sector to do it alone, there is a need for the private sector to galvanise capital and the entrepreneurship drive and spirit required to move any enterprise forward – and healthcare will be no different.”

“Another factor that is equally important is storytelling. There is a lot of storytelling around COVID, but if we compare the data between COVID and malaria, it speaks volumes. Taking 2018 data around malaria, about 155 million people were infected in Africa compared to 4.5 million people infected with COVID. There have been about 120,000 deaths in Africa arising from COVID versus 400,000 deaths arising from malaria alone. But the story is not being told as effectively as it should. Access Bank is using its platform through the social media handles as well as corporate websites to help tell the malaria story so there is a lot more focus,” he continued.

The conversation further explored how countries have adapted health programs in the fight against malaria – especially during the pandemic and opportunities for collaboration to scale up malaria control efforts and increase impact.

Amongst the impressive lineup of speakers were; Dr Osagie Ehanire, Hon. Minister of Health, Nigeria; Peter Sands, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Dr Malick Diara, Public Health Manager, ExxonMobil Corporation; Dr Janis Davis Street, Global Director, Public Health & Special Projects, Chevron; Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director and CEO, Aliko Dangote Foundation, amongst others.

By leveraging the CAMA platform and working with partners across the countries of operations, Access Bank remains committed to providing financial resources and lending a voice for the fight against malaria across Africa.

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