Access Bank Plc in collaboration with The ENDFund, Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS, NiBUCAA and Hacey Health Initiative carried out free HIV tests, counselling and treatment for the participants at the just concluded Lagos City Marathon.
The organization also sensitized all the participants and the general public on the need to live a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDS in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Speaking during the health advocacy, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Communications, Access Bank Plc, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, said that over 3,000 attendees were reached with awareness on best practices to manage their health and well-being.
HSENations learnt that the marathon has brought together thousands of people which provided the right platform for the organizers to utilize and enlighten on issues of significant health impact.
Rhoda Robison, Executive Director, HACEY Health Initiative, said, “we provided free HIV counsel and testing as well as free condoms for over 3,000 people that attended the marathon. This started from the kits collection event to the marathon day itself.”
“It’s not about testing alone, it’s about providing them the right information to continuously prevent HIV infection and for those who are positive for them to stick with their ARC treatment so that they achieve virus suppression.”
“HACEY Health Initiative has been working with and preventing HIV over 10 years so we have been working for over a decade and we have been working with Access bank for the past four to five years in ensuring and promoting HIV test and counselling. We connect those who are tested positively to different centers, we have achieved a lot, we’ve reach over 10,000 people through our messages over the years.”
Meanwhile, during the Marathon which held from February 3 to 7, 2020, the public was educated on the group of parasitic and infections including River Blindness, Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Trachoma, Intestinal worms and Schistosomiasis (Snail Fever).
ENDFund’s Oyetola Oduyemi, Africa regional Adviser expressed satisfaction on the collaboration to help reduce diseases. He said, “ENDFUND is the largest private philanthropic organization focus on tackling diseases including bacteria, viral and parasitic infection. About 40 percent of sufferers are in Africa.
In his comments, Gbenga Alabi, Executive Secretary, National Business Coalition Against Aids, NIBUCAA said “Access bank has created an opportunity for NIBUCAA to latch on this event to provide HIV testing services for the general population. More importantly, for athletes and other people that want to know their HIV status. The national population is 1.4 but then a lot of Nigerians are yet to know their status. So we are actually using this opportunity to encourage people today to know their HIV status.”