08 August 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, has flagged off a community medical program for six communities in Rivers State along the Assa-Obite gas pipeline right of way.
The Assa-Obite pipeline is an integral part of Assa North-Ohaji South development project, which according to SPDC, marks a major expansion of Nigeria’s gas production, and which will support the Federal Government’s national gas master plan aspirations by developing the reservoirs in the Assa/Ohaji fields in Imo State.
The benefiting communities are Egita, Obite, Akpata, Ohiaugo, Egbeda and Ikiri which are in Emouha and Ogba/Egbema /Ndoni Local Government Area in Rivers State.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony in Obite community, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, the General Manager, External Relations of SPDC, Mr. Igo Weli, said the Shell Community Care Program which was introduced more than a decade ago has since reached thousands of people across Nigeria with its free medical health component tagged Health-in-Motion.
Weli disclosed that the benefiting patients would be screened for cervical and breast cancers, dental and eye care, cardio-vascular screen, treatment of minor and chronic ailments as well as testing and counseling.
“Our presence today in Rivers State is part of a broader care agenda to our major stakeholders in project communities.
“What distinguishes the SPDC JV Health-in-Motion programme and makes it so popular and accepted is that the doctor comes to the doorsteps of the recipients. The intervention ranges from promotional, preventive to curative health services.
“As a company, we are passionate about health and safety and committed to the people in the communities where we operate. We uphold a maxim of ‘we care’ in our business and believe that a healthy citizenry is not only a productive population but strengthens the economy and wealth of a nation.
Weli, represented by SPDC External Relations Manager, Land East, Dr. Chibuzo Anyim, regretted that sometimes, the efforts of the citizenry to access health are hindered by ignorance, limited resources, and avoidable delays.
“It is not uncommon to see people turn to unproven alternative treatments or wait for their conditions to degenerate into serious medical conditions like blindness, cancer, or stroke before seeking health care services.
“It is important to note that whenever this happens, the consequences affect everyone including the community and the overall national economy. With the presence of our doctors in the benefiting communities, I encourage all of you to take advantage of the opportunity and present yourselves for screening and treatment.”
Also speaking the Local Government Chairman of ONELGA, Mr. Ifeanyi Odili, commended SPDC for the health outreach while urging the communities to cooperate with the multinational oil companies operating in their domain.
Odili also urged SPDC, to treat well the people of the host communities, while emphasizing that Onelga is a peace-loving place but its peaceful nature should not be taken for granted.
“We thank Shell so much for this programme. Before now we have been told Shell doesn’t have good community relations but with what I am seeing here, I stand to debunk that claim, because health is wealth.
“I will advise you (Shell) that you have started on a good note, please continue this way, and we as the government will give you the security for your operations. Those things you (Shell) used to do that people praise you, please replicate same here.
“As for the communities, please cooperate with the multinationals. Onelga is known for dialogue, if there is any disagreement please bring them to dialogue.”