Lagos — The cutting-edge blood component extractor machine just donated to the Lagos State government has been described as a timely intervention to aid the recovery of novel coronavirus patients.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the machine would support passive immunisation of COVID-19 patients with the extraction of antibodies from survivors to be used on those battling with the deadly virus.
Receiving the Terumo Spectria Optia model of the plasma apheresis machine from the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) on Friday at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba in Lagos, the commissioner said the donations and support from Shell companies in Nigeria under the oil and gas industry intervention programme were huge and worthy of emulation by other corporate bodies.
The Apheresis machine is used for the collection and automatic separation of donor blood components such as platelets or plasma, as well as for the treatment for certain medical conditions in which a part of the blood that contains disease-provoking elements is removed.
“The friendship, loyalty and support of Shell companies before and during the COVID-19 period are indeed tremendous and have really helped Lagos State in repositioning health care delivery to the people,” said Abayomi, adding: “I’m also impressed by your carbon-sensitive intervention with the provision of renewable solar power for the state’s isolation centre.”
Presenting the items, including PCR testing machines, 150KVA generator, an ambulance, ventilators, a 30KVA solar hybrid solution and loads of medical consumables, Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, described COVID-19 as a global emergency requiring maximum support from corporate and individual entities to help government in the management of the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“Lagos being the epicenter puts an enormous challenge on state resources hence this industry intervention led by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to support as many states as possible to bring the virus under control,” said Ojulari. He commended the state governor and its executive team for rising up early to put in place measures to check the spread of the virus in the state.
Also speaking, Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari who was represented by the Manager, Public Affairs Department of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, Aliu Ja’afaru, noted that but for the timely and unrelenting efforts by the state the infection rates in Nigeria would have been much worse than it was.
Soon after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria, Shell companies in Nigeria had provided four vehicles, including fueling and maintenance to Lagos State to aid in contact tracing. The companies had also presented vehicles, ambulances, ventilators, PCR Machines and tons of medical consumables to Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Imo and Abia states with plans to extend the donations to more states.