Ecobank Ghana on Saturday held a forum on non-communicable diseases (NCD), especially breast cancer, to draw public attention to their prevention and treatment.
The forum, organised in collaboration with the NCD Alliance and the Ghana Health Service, was to mark Ecobank Day 2019.
Ecobank Day is a special day set aside every year by 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 theme for this year's edition is: "Prevention and Health Promotion", with special focus on cancer awareness. Ecobank day holds 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 Organisation NCDs are responsible for over 30 per cent of all reported adult deaths in most African countries.
In his message, Mr Dan Sackey, the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, said the choice of this year's theme was to further raise awareness on non-communicable diseases, particularly cancer.
He announced that Ecobank for the next three years was focusing attention on reducing the effects of NCDs and their consequent 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," Mr Sackey said.
Mr Sackey said Ecobank's main objective in 2019 was to enhance the prevention, management and control of NCDs among staff and stakeholders.
Dr Owen Kaluwa, WHO Representative to Ghana, said the majority of NCDs are actually preventable through a healthy lifestyle
Substantial evidence shows that higher levels of physical activity lower the risks of getting several cancers and other NCDs.
The discussions included the consequences of inactiveness or sedentary lifestyle and other lifestyle choices that were detrimental to health.
There was special fund raising for NCD Alliance using the Ecobank Biller, QR Code and a short code.
Also, there was a health talk by cancer specialists and speeches and testimonies from cancer survivors as well as a market durbar at Kaneshie, where staff distributed educational materials.
The day was also marked in other four market centres at Ashaiman-Tema, Bantama-Kumasi, Market Circle –Takoradi and Tamale Market Centre.