Ecobank Kenya has collaborated with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to raise awareness about the desirable lifestyle behaviours to help control and prevent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
The three-year-long campaign to fight NCDs commenced on Saturday with a walk and free diabetes and hypertension screening in Mombasa and Nakuru.
This happened during the seventh Ecobank Day celebrations under the theme of ‘Together – For Better Health’. It is estimated that 7,000 Ecobank and Kenya Red Cross Society staff, management, customers, partners and members of the community took part in the Ecobank Day events held in Mombasa and Nakuru.
The non-communicable diseases include heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases diabetes and mental illness.
The diseases chronic diseases, typically long-lasting and resulting from a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.
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The World Health Organisation estimates that NCDs kill 41 million people every year globally and that the citizens of low- and middle-income countries, including those in Africa, are particularly at risk, accounting for 32 million of these deaths each year.
Currently, over 50 per cent of inpatient admissions in all health facilities in Kenya are as a result of NCD complications while 40 per cent of all hospital deaths in the country is caused by NCD’s.
Cheikh Travaly, Managing Director of Ecobank Kenya and Regional Executive for Central, Eastern and Southern Africa (CESA) said: “Non-Communicable Diseases are not only a scourge across Africa but also here in Kenya causing premature deaths and untold misery to countless families.”
“They can affect anyone at any age but there are things that each of us can do to reduce our risk factors of contracting them.”
“It was an easy decision for us to choose NCDs, and Diabetes in particular, as the focus for Ecobank Day, something that we will commit our resources to for the next three years as our contribution to our local communities and also as a way of making a demonstrable difference to their health and wellbeing.”
Kenya Red Cross, which has been implementing NCD projects across the country, notes that investing heavily in Primary Health Care is a critical aspect in the Society’s health care pillar.
“Non-Communicable Diseases form a major part of the Kenya Red Cross Society’s interventions in health. We continue to work with the national and county governments to build individual and family resilience through prevention, disease surveillance and promotion of overall wellbeing," Dr Asha Mohammed the Secretary-General Designate of Kenya Red Cross said.
"As Kenya Red Cross we will continue to sensitize and mobilize Kenyans on the need to living a life that reduces the risk to NCD’s.”
Ecobank Day, which has been marked since 2013, has involved Ecobank Kenya staff and management giving up their free time for deserving causes in their communities and these have included support for orphanages, safer water, ICT education, maternal health, children’s education, malaria prevention and community engagement projects.