The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) has launched its first medical outreach in the Federal Capital Territory at Gidan Mangoro community of Karu in Abuja, treating more than 4,000 beneficiaries and providing medical supplies to five local primary schools. This is the latest phase of Shell’s Health-in-Motion programme which was rolled out in the Niger Delta in 2005.
Speaking at the opening session of the two-day programme in Abuja, Managing Director of SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari, said the crusade aimed to take free promotive, preventive and curative health services to the hard-to-reach communities in Nigeria. By doing this, he said, “we hope to be able to support the efforts of government at all levels in providing accessible healthcare to the people.”
Ojulari, represented by Shell’s Regional Community Health Manager, Dr. Akinwumi Fajola, advised against ignoring early signs of health challenge which he said could make it difficult for prompt and effective management by medical officers.
The Minister of Health, represented by Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, commended the Health-in-Motion initiative, adding that the Federal Government was willing to collaborate with SNEPCo to take the programme to other communities in Nigeria.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Iyke Judith, a widow, said: “My heart is full of joy to know that all the services – eyes screening and glasses; drugs; laboratory tests; everything is free. I am so happy; may God Almighty bless the company. I believe it is because of me that the company came here because I have been sick for some time now especially after my spinal surgery and had no money to visit the hospital. This programme has just solved my health issues.”
A total of 4,224 people from the community benefitted from different health services including include eye, dental, mass deworming, cardiovascular screenings, HIV & malaria testing and breast and cervical cancer screenings services. Three women were treated with cryotherapy on the spot for early stages of cancer of the cervix while 17 women with breast lumps had free mammograms done. Six hundred people with impaired vision received reading glasses while those requiring further management were referred to the General Hospital Karu.
The medical outreach was held in collaboration with the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and had in attendance representative of the FCT Minister, Dr. Mathew Ashikeni; the traditional ruler of Karu, His Royal Highness, Emmanuel Kyauta Yewp; and Chairman of AMAC, Mr. Abdullahi Adamu Candido.