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SPDC’S Health Campaign Reaches 60,000 People in Niger Delta

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has rounded off a two-week health outreach in Rivers and Bayelsa states, during which more than 30,000 people received free medical care. Another 12,000 children were de-wormed, bringing to 30,511 the total number of school pupils that have been reached this year. The outreach, tagged “Health-in-Motion” was designed to bring quality health care to the doorsteps of the people who live in areas that are difficult to reach.

SPDC’s Regional Community Health Manager, Dr Babatunde Fakunle said: “Health-in-Motion is about taking health care to the people where they work and live instead of the traditional way whereby patients leave their homes or work place to attend clinics”.

The outreach was flagged-off on separate days at Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri, in Bayelsa State, as well as Degema and Akukutoru in Rivers State. A 40-man health team from SPDC, comprising medical doctors, nurses, HIV/AIDS counselors and pharmacists, treated aliments and carried out minor surgeries, visiting remote villages and fishing settlements. Eye glasses and insecticide-treated mosquito nets were also distributed to children, pregnant women and mothers. Some of the places visited included Idema, Odioma Obioku, Ewelesuo in Bayelsa, and Degema, Osunkun, Obuama, Bille, Ke, Abissa, Minima and Adamakiri in Rivers. Staff from the ministries of health in both states monitored the exercise.

The Amanyanabo of Nembe, Mingi XII, Dr. Edmond Daukoru, and the Chairman of Nembe Local Government Council, Hon. Waribugho Sylva commended SPDC for bringing quality healthcare to the people. Speaking at Bassambiri, Hon. Sylva said “The health of the people of the local government area will tremendously improve following this health outreach intervention from SPDC. It will among other things usher in soundness of mind as well as soundness of body and improve longevity for the people.”

A public health adviser from SPDC, Dr Akin Fajola, who led the team, said “We are happy at the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people. The warm welcome and ready smiles were enough to make us want to return on the same mission.”

SPDC has held over 41 health outreaches in 103 communities in the Niger Delta this year. The company began supporting healthcare in the Niger Delta in the late 1960s, training personnel, donating drugs and consumables as well as building and equipping infrastructure. Over 35 health facilities have been completed over the years in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Edo States. In addition, major maintenance has been completed in 17 of the 27 centres directly supported by SPDC.