The shell Petroleum Development company (SPDC) on Wednesday said that more than 610,000 people in Niger Delta have benefitted from its health interventions in the past eight years.
Mr Igo Weli, General Manager, External Relations at SPDC stated this at the opening ceremony of a Community Healthcare Programme at Onopa in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital.
Weli, who was represented by Mr Wakil Layiwola, a Manager at the External Relations Department of SPDC noted that the oil firm prioritises healthcare as a healthy population is critical to a productive workforce.
He said that the programme takes quality free healthcare services to the doorsteps of benefitting communities where it operates.
More than 1,000 persons comprising children, women and adults have so far received medical attention in the 3 day event.
“The Community Care Programme was introduced over a decade ago in the Niger Delta and has since reached thousands of people across Nigeria with its free medical health component tagged ‘Health-in-Motion’.
“In the last eight years alone, over 610,000 persons have benefited from this programme. We are here today to extend the same health care to the good people of Onopa.
“Onopa community is host to SPDC’s Gbaran W/6 location and their support has enabled SPDC to commence work-over activities that will restore facility integrity and production, towards additional oil and gas volumes in Bayelsa.
“What distinguishes the SPDC’s Health-in-Motion programme and makes is the onsite presence of doctors supported by a wide range of interventions, preventive and curative health services that are brought directly to recipients.
“We are passionate about health and safety and remain committed to extending this to the people in the communities where we operate.
“We uphold a maxim of ‘we care’ in our business and believe that healthy citizenry leads to a productive population that strengthens the economy and wealth of a nation,” Weli said.
Speaking at the event, Chief Samuel Morrison, Paramount Ruler in Onopa settlement applauded the oil firm for the intervention and urged SPDC to equip the Onopa Health Centre build by the Bayelsa government.
The monarch regretted that beyond the construction of the building, there were neither equipment nor personnel at the health centre, urging the Bayelsa Ministry of Health to deploy health workers to Onopa.
Dr Ongowari Torunana who represented the commissioner of Health, Prof Ebitimi.Etebu pledged to table the request for health personnel before the Health Ministry.
Mrs Jane Dou, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude and satisfaction and noted that the distribution of insecticide treated nets in the settlement behind the Epie creek would keep malaria at bay.
“We were screened for cervical/breast cancers, including cryotherapy treatments, and blood pressure, blood sugar levels and heart diseases.
“Dental care and eye tests including reading glasses and drugs were dispensed as required while laboratory testing for HIV and malaria, as well as treatment of chronic and minor ailments are available,” Dou said