As part of its corporate social responsibility, French oil firm, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG), recently undertook free health programme for OML 58 host communities in Rivers State. An estimated 5,000 people from various states in the Niger Delta region benefited from the free medical outreach held at the Erema General Hospital, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA).
The two-week exercise handled diagnosis, treatment and drug dispensation for numerous kind of ailments, including pediatrics, ophthalmological, antenatal and surgeries.
Deputy Managing Director of Total, Port Harcourt District, Mr. François Le-Cocq explained that it has become a culture for the oil firm to continue to champion health-related issues through various programmes.
He said the firm has continuously extended the culture to its host and neighbouring communities through its numerous preventive and curative public health interventions, such as safe motherhood programme, healthy living awareness campaign, HIV awareness programme and capacity building for staff members of primary health care centres.
“As a company, we share in the universal saying that ‘a healthy people make a wealthy nation.’ This belief has propelled us to sustain the noble efforts of the Joint Venture to reach out to the critical needs of our people and support both preventive and curative health care delivery policies and programmes of government despite the challenging business environment.
“After two days of this programme, available statistics indicate that about 810 patients have so far been attended to. The breakdown of this figure indicate that 810 patients cases, including 300 pediatrics cases, 261 ophthalmological and two antenatal cases have been handled.
“Furthermore, 21 patients have already undergone successful surgeries while 650 others are waiting further review preparatory for surgery; a testimony that this programme is very popular and highly patronized by our people.
“We believe that this project has helped a lot of individuals and families who could not afford the healthcare cost in our private clinics, against the backdrop of the current challenges facing public health sector of our states,” he noted.
Represented by the Community Relations Manager, Port Harcourt and Offshore, Okechukwu Obara, Le-Cocq called on residents of OML 58 host and neighbouring communities to avail themselves of the opportunity.
He commended the Joint Venture partners, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Rivers State Government through the Hospital Management Board and the people of OML 58 communities, for providing the platform for effective collaboration and cooperation in accomplishing the life-saving programme.
Director, Medical Mission, Marnifield Nigeria, facilitator of the 2019 TEPNG Mass Free Health Programme, Dr. Akubuike Okara, described TEPNG as one company that values the health of its workers, families and host communities.
Okara said attendance at the programme was widespread with people coming from Imo, Abia, Delta, Edo and Bayelsa states and almost all LGAs of Rivers State.
“In the first two days of this programme, Marnifield medical team has attended to 810 people. Eight-six patients have been identified for surgery, while 21 of them have already been operated on. The Eye clinic has seen 261 patients and 211 reading glasses dispensed following eye screening. It is, therefore, projected that by the end of this programme over 5,000 patients would have been attended to by the medical team.”
The Community Development Chairman of Erema community, Mr. Ben Chileke, commended the French multinational for the free medical programme.
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