Increasing access to affordable quality health care
Sep 01, 2022
Shell Companies in Nigeria seek to help increase Nigerians’ access to health services, expand health insurance schemes and strengthen health systems by working with key stakeholders, including government, community leaders and civil society organisations.
Better health and well-being improve life outcomes and strengthen families, educational attainment and business opportunities. Yet millions of Nigerians still struggle to access affordable quality health care and many more have no health insurance.
Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN) have supported health programmes in Nigeria since the 1980s that have benefited hundreds of thousands of people in the communities in which we operate. These programmes include equipment and pharmaceutical donations, emergency care and screening services, hospital maintenance and focused interventions on HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer and vision care.
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, we responded quickly to help protect staff, contractors, the communities where we operate and to lend support to the Nigerian state and federal governments. Read more about our ongoing COVID-19 support here.
At the end of 2021, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) joint venture (SPDC JV) and the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) supported 19 health-care centres and health intervention projects in Nigeria.
The Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)
The CHIS was first launched in 2010 at Obio Cottage Hospital and is a partnership between the SPDC JV, Rivers State Government and local communities. The programme improves people’s access to affordable, quality health care in the Niger Delta.
Five community health insurance schemes are now active, and the programme has enrolled more than 114,000 people across Obio, Rumoukwurusi, Mbodo Aluu, Iyi-Enu and Nembe communities since it began. In 2021, the scheme cost individuals $24 per year ($27 in 2020).
The CHIS has helped change the narrative around health care in local communities and demonstrated the possibility for extended health-care coverage in Nigeria.
The Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP)
The OHP is a local government initiative in the Ogbia area of Bayelsa State and is sponsored exclusively by Shell. The programme is designed to improve health care in an innovative and holistic way. The initiative included a full refurbishment of the Kolo General Hospital, which was inaugurated in July 2019.
More broadly, the initiative focuses on improving and maintaining health, not only treating illness. It strengthens local health-care systems by upgrading and integrating facilities, training and supporting local health-care and community workers and ensuring a reliable supply of medicines.
The programme has seen service utilisation rise to more than 3,600 patients in 2021 from around 800 when it was launched in 2017.
It has also provided training for over 178 health workers at community, local and state government levels. In addition to this, it has trained 117 volunteers as facility-based extension workers in house-to-house health care.
Obio Cottage Hospital
Obio Cottage Hospital is a specialist maternity hospital in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which is funded by the CHIS. It has specialist pre- and post-natal wards and an operating theatre. More than 34,000 babies have been safely delivered at the hospital since 2010.
In the more than 10 years since the launch of the CHIS, the hospital has seen average patient utilisation at the facility rise from about 600 in 2010 to about 7,289 per month in 2021, making Obio one of the most utilised health facilities in the region.
HIM is a mobile community health outreach programme that takes free medical services to communities across the Niger Delta and in other parts of the country. Since 2010, more than a million people have benefited from the programme. In 2021, a further 2,451 people benefited from HIM.
In addition to the above, SCiN also support a range of specialised health initiatives. These include Vision First, a programme with Prosight International Eye Foundation.
The initiatives also include improved access to HIV/AIDS support and treatment. In 2021, SCiN, the Rivers State Government and the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, launched the Rivers Surge Project to improve access to HIV/AIDS counselling, testing and Anti-Retroviral Therapy.
Another successful initiative is the SNEPCo’s partnership with the Centre for Cancer Care at the National Hospital in Abuja. In 2019, SNEPCo donated an ultramodern radiotherapy machine to the hospital to help increase patients’ access to quality cancer treatment.