By Chioma Obinna
Worried by the plight of homeless Nigerian children, Sterling Bank Plc and the Malaria, Child, Maternal Mortality Eradication, MACMME, has produced a movie entitled, ANAVE. The movie billed to premiere in Lagos on Wednesday is designed to draw attention on the helplessness of destitute Nigerian children in the midst of plenty.
Speaking to Vanguard in Lagos, Producer of the movie, Ms. Nicole Ndigwe, explained that the movie was to mobilise Nigerians to see a need to give hope and a better future to homeless Nigerian children.
“The objectives are to reduce the rate of child mortality attributed to preventable causes such as malaria & homelessness, to ensure access to basic health-care facility for underprivileged mothers during pregnancy and that the destitute Nigerian child deserves an education and opportunity to acquire a skill.
Ndigwe said the MACMME is also designed to help in the eradication of malaria mortality through health and shelter programme, adding that “Our hope is to ensure that no life is lost to anything that our resources as members of the society can be brought together to fix.”
She, therefore, called on all to join forces to give the destitute a future. Ndigwe noted that out of every one million children born in Nigeria; about 300,000 of them are likely to die before age five, adding that the annual child mortality rate from malaria was 814 children while 24 million Nigerians are homeless.
“Data from UNICEF further indicates that each month, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child-bearing age, making it the second largest contributor to under-five and maternal mortality rates in the world.
Speaking, the Head, Technology and Digital Compliance of Sterling Bank, Mr. Lekan Akintemi said they decided to support the production of the movie because it fits perfectly into health which is one their five focus areas of investments.
Akintemi who noted that the Bank was also working in the areas that function around health which includes education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation said about N10 billion have been earmarked by the Bank for investments in the health sector.
“The bank is focused towards its customers and supporting them is dear to our heart. We will continue to assist in any way possible to ensure that health services get to the doorstep of every Nigerian.”
Akintemi said the bank would continuously develop products that would serve as preventive health solutions as part of its overall strategies towards making Nigerian a healthy nation.
On his part, Sterling Bank’s Health Desk, Mr. Oluwaseunayo Lojede said the objectives of the desk was to use finance and opportunities to advocate for affordable health services for the citizenry.
He added that they have decided to play in three major areas in the health sector including provision of equipment, infrastructure finance for hospitals, diagnostic centres, stock finance for all value chains in the pharmaceutical segment of the health sector and partnership with state governments in a bid to revamp primary health centres across the country.