• Monday, July 15, 2024
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First Bank flags off multimillion Naira initiative to reduce VVF in Nigeria

First Bank flags off multimillion Naira initiative to reduce VVF in Nigeria

The latest report of the global incidence of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) disease shows that Nigeria currently bears between 400,000 to 800,000 out a total of 2 million cases in the world.

The report also indicates that at the moment Nigeria is the highest carrier of the disease in the world.

A breakdown of the disease revealed that Northern Nigeria is estimated to be home to young women having VVF, as the report confirmed that 75 percent of the national occurrence takes place in the region.

As a way of arresting the worrisome global development, the management of First Bank Plc, Nigeria and West Africa primer bank, has started a multi-million Naira rehabilitation programme under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for victims of the disease in the country.

Flagging off the project in Kano, a state which is known to have the highest carriers of the disease in the country, Abdullahi Ibrahim, an executive director of the bank, said that the rehabilitation programme was designed by the bank to tackle the rising cases of the disease.

Ibrahim, who represented the CEO of the bank at the occasion, disclosed that the programme, which was conceived to be a partnership between the bank and the Kano State Government, is targeted at rehabilitating 50 victims.

He added that the bank under the programme is to fully pay for the surgical operation of the 50 VVF patients to be drawn mainly from the state and others across the country.

According to Ibrahim, after the rehabilitation, each of the 50 beneficiaries of the rehabilitation programme are also to be empowered by the bank, with one portable pasta making machine, and a sack of flour, 4 litres of vegetable oil, and a sack of Soya bean.

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“We are here to kick start this programme as part of our bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility being implemented in collaboration with Kano State Ministry of Health to support 50 Vesico Vaginal Fistula patients.

“The programme also has an economic empowerment component of rehabilitation and reintegration of each of the patients after the repair, as each of the beneficiaries will be provided with skills and items for making pasta.

“This programme was designed to be a special package as obstetric fistula is associated with psychological, social and economic challenges, which includes stigmatization, discrimination, abandonment and neglect.

“The negative features of the disease make it imperative for philanthropists, as well as individuals, NGOs, corporate organisations to join hands with the government to support the affected patients”, he explained.

Ibrahim further disclosed that the bank resolved to kick start the programme at Kano State VVF centre situated at Murtala Muhammed Hospital being one of the oldest VVF centers in the country, which is also serving as a training ground for specialists on obstetric fistula.

About 12, 000 to 20, 000 new cases of the VVF are said to be occurring yearly in the world of which close to 90 percent are untreated, Ibrahim noted.

The ceremony had in attendance the Kano State Commissioner for Women Affairs, and Social Development.