Port Harcourt — French oil giant, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, has kicked off a week-long mass free medical service for its offshore neighbouring communities of Opobo and Nkoro.
Both communities are located in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Offshore neighbouring communities are those coastal communities which are likely to have the first and direct impact from offshore oil and gas exploration activities.
Speaking at the ongoing mass free health program in Opobo Health Centre, Opobo Town, Total’s Deputy Managing Director Port Harcourt District, Mr. François Le-cocq, said it has become a culture for the company to champion health related issues through various programs they are involved in.
Lecocq, represented at the event by the Community Relations Manager, Port Harcourt, and Offshore, Okechukwu Obara, explained that the company has visited and held other preventive public health programmes in its other offshore communities both within and outside the state.
He commended the Rivers State Hospital and Primary Healthcare Management Board, the management and staff of Opobo Health Centre for approving the team of medical personnel and volunteering its facilities for the life-saving services.
According to him, “It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this year’s week-long NNPC/TEPNG mass free medical service for our offshore neighbouring communities of Opobo and Nkoro.
“As a company, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, share in the universal saying that ‘a healthy people make a wealthy nation’.
“This belief has propelled us to sustain the noble efforts of the joint venture to reach out to the critical needs of our people and support both preventive and curative health care delivery policies and programmes of government despite the challenging business environment.
“We believe that this project has helped a lot of individuals and families who could not afford the health care cost in our private clinics, against the backdrop of the current challenges facing public health sector of our states. It is our hope there, that residents of the communities around us will avail themselves of this great opportunity to benefit from the services being made available this week,” Total said.
Also speaking, the Program Facilitator, Dr. Daniel Onyetulem, said they have attended to over 450 patients so far, with 112 consultations in just two days, while calling on members of the communities to avail themselves for ongoing free medicals.
Onyetulem also stated that as part of the free medical outreach, the medical team would visit selected secondary schools in the area to talk to teenagers about sex education and substance abuse.
“We have attended to 85 pediatric cases, 36males and 49 females. For adults, 342 patients have been treated, 94 males and 248females. We have also handled seven family planning cases.”
For his part, the Amayanabo of Opobo Kingdom, HRM King Dandason Jaja, commended Total for bringing the free medical services to the area.
Jaja speaking through the Vice Chairman, Alabo Council Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area, Alabo Princewill Dappa, appealed to the oil firm to extend the free medical outreach to other coastal communities in the area.