By Lekan Fatodu
Following the adoption of the new global development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by the United Nations, many organisations and influential personalities around the world have heightened calls to critical stakeholders in the affairs of humanity to deepen efforts against poverty, health challenges and climate issues.
The recent decision by ‘Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’ and the UBA Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa Group, to collaborate towards strengthening health systems and raising awareness of immunisation across Africa, speaks so well to the role of corporate entities in improving the wellbeing of the people and society.
This effort, according to a statement issued by the partners in New York, will commence in Nigeria this year.
As part of the partnership, the statement said the UBA Foundation would raise $1.5m over the next two years by leveraging the bank’s network of partners to support Gavi’s immunisation programmes in Nigeria. The statement further said the UBA Foundation will also advocate for immunisation in Nigeria, which has one of the lowest vaccine coverage rates in the world.
The Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Seth Berkley, said, “We are delighted to work with the UBA Foundation to help protect children across Nigeria against some of the world’s deadliest diseases.
“Strong, sustainable health systems are key to ensuring no child misses out on lifesaving vaccines, which is why this partnership will make a real difference, reducing child mortality and helping to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030.”
Commenting on the initiative, the Group Chief Executive Officer, UBA and Chairman, UBA Foundation, Kennedy Uzoka, said, “The United Bank for Africa and the UBA Foundation have been impacting lives positively in Nigeria and across the African continent for several decades, and this is another opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of Africans.
“We are proud of the partnership with Gavi, which will run until the end of 2020, with both institutions focused on the overall aim to provide innovative solutions that can increase the capacity of healthcare systems in Nigeria and across Africa.”
This is indeed a commendable initiative; and with the sustenance of this kind of positive action, the future of the continent will surely be brighter.