05 November 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — As parts of its corporate social responsibility on public health education, Total Exploration and Production Company Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, has taken its 2018 Healthy Living Awareness Campaign, to its host and neighbouring communities in Rivers State.
Total’s Deputy Managing Director, Port Harcourt District, Mr. François Le-Cocq, speaking in Obite, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers State, said the awareness campaign was imperative as the World Health Organisation recently listed Nigeria among 30 countries with high cases of tuberculosis.
Le-Cocq, represented at the event by the Community Relations Manager of the firm, Mr. Okechukwu Obara, regretted that over 570,000 Nigerians were affected by tuberculosis on a yearly basis.
He explained that the oil multinational decided to embark on health awareness campaign in order to draw the attention of the people in its host communities to such diseases that were ordinarily overlooked.
According to him, “Experts say tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that most often affects the lungs. This disease can also affect other parts of the body such as the skin, kidney, etc.
“This disease is known to spread from person to person through close contact and through the air.
“Statistics from the World Health Organisation listed Nigeria among the 30 countries in the world with a high burden of tuberculosis. A national tuberculosis prevalence survey has estimated that 570,000 persons in Nigeria fall ill with this disease each year.
“It is against this backdrop and as a demonstration of our commitment to the comprehensive well-being of residents of our host and neighbouring communities, that we have continued to support this Corporate Social Responsibility action on public health education in order to draw attention to easily overlooked public health concerns and lifestyles that can deprive our people of their wellness and confine them to sickbeds in hospitals.”
Also speaking, the paramount ruler of Obite, HRH Eze Ejikeme Okwuogba, speaking on behalf of the benefiting communities, commended Total for the health awareness campaign and the fight against tuberculosis in its host communities.
Okwuogba also commended the medical experts who educated community members on the prevention, management, and myths about tuberculosis, and urged indigenes to adhere to the medical advice of the experts.
He said he was shocked to learn that tuberculosis could be spread through coughing and sneezing by infected persons.
Meanwhile, the health awareness campaign saw to the screening of locals for tuberculosis, as well as a lecture on tuberculosis and its management. At the end of the day, 14 persons were diagnosed with the disease after the screening.