5000 People Benefit from SPDC Healthcare Drive in Bayelsa State

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[L-R] Osagie Okunbor, MD, SPDC, receiving a Special Recognition Award from Tony Arabome, President, CIPM, at the 47th annual conference of the CIPM

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IN furtherance of its Health-in-Motion campaign, about 5000 people in Oloibiri area of Bayelsa State have benefitted from a health outreach organised by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC Joint Venture. The SPDC in conjunction with Bayelsa State government, Ogbia Local Government Council and other partners took the comprehensive health outreach to 18 communities giving the beneficiaries dental and eye care/surgery.

The oil major also screened the communities for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and malaria, HIV/AIDS counseling and testing, immunisation, pharmaceutical and laboratory services as well as treatment for chronic and minor ailments. The SPDC used the outreach system to create awareness on the Oloibiri Health Programme, a Shell-sponsored three-year initiative that is expected to promote universal health coverage, strengthen existing health systems, establish learning and operations research, and enhance the social determinants of health in Oloibiri field communities.

Ayibatonye Owei, commissioner for health in the state, who flagged off the outreach at Ogbia town on September 10, de-wormed children and presented long lasting insecticide treated nets, LLITNs, to pregnant women. He said:“This health programme Shell is implementing in Ogbia Local Government Areas is most commendable as no other oil company has done such a thing in Bayelsa State despite many years of oil extraction.”

The health outreach then moved to Kolo Creek communities where N.D. Amakuro, Agholo of Agholo, expressed joy at diverse health professionals providing quality service to the people. The traditional ruler was happy at the implementation of the Oloibiri Health Programme, and that the Kolo General Hospital was earmarked to serve as the secondary facility/referral centre for the programme.

Some beneficiaries testified to the kind of care they received from health workers. One of them who gave her name as Oremediepre, active woman leader in the community, who was diagnosed with severe myopia (short sighted) for several years, received spectacles to correct her condition. She said: “Today, I can see well. I am grateful and will always remember Shell for this.”

Akinwumi Fajola, regional community health manager, SPDC, said: “The welcome in Oloibiri has been very warm. I’ve been involved in the Health-In-Motion programme since it began in 2009 and the gratitude and smiles of beneficiaries is enough reward for all the planning and hard work. SPDC has demonstrated tremendous care for the health of the people through the programme.”

The SPDC JV has supported community health projects in the Niger Delta since the 1980s, with equipment and pharmaceutical donations as well as the construction of hospitals and implementation of malaria and HIV/AIDs control programmes. Currently, the SPDC JV supports 20 health centres in the region.

— Oct 19, 2015 @ 17:55 GMT

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