Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, an ExxonMobil affiliate company in Nigeria, recently constructed three Maternal Referral Centers (MRCs) for communities in the states of Kwara, Imo and Bayelsa in Nigeria. EEPNL, in partnership with an NGO, Development Africa, constructed and equipped the MRCs which will provide maternal healthcare services to women and young children in the communities in which they were constructed, as well as to those in neighboring communities.
Each of the MRC facilities are equipped with state of the art maternity care equipment, as well as a backup power supply system, provided through the installation of a solar power system. Each facility was also provided with a new ambulance vehicle for use in case of emergencies.
“The MRC facilities will provide care and treatment for pregnant women, babies and their mothers, and will support their communities and states by drastically decreasing infant mortality rates, reducing pregnancy-related deaths, and increasing lifetime productivity,” said Dr. Bello Aliyu, Group Medical Director, speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Kwara state.
“The MRCs will also provide maternal education and training so that newly established, up-to-date healthcare practices can be adopted throughout the community, providing a foundation of good health for each mother and child. It will also deter unqualified maternity care practitioners whose practices still put the lives of expectant mothers and newly born babies at risk,” he added.
Each MRC was constructed and equipped at over $1M each, bringing the total for the three facilities up to over $3M. “But this amount is insignificant compared to the lives the MRCs will save,” said Cletus Egbuzie, General Manager, Operations Technical Subsurface. “Our people deserve no less.”
“I have no doubt that the community will take ownership of the Centre and treat it as the precious jewel that it should be. This has already been demonstrated during the period of construction and equipping, as we received maximum support from the community and nearby villages. I, therefore, would like to thank the traditional rulers, our women and youths for the support received thus far”, Egbuzie added.
The Executive Governor of Kwara state, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was present at the commissioning ceremony in Eruku, thanked EEPNL for constructing the referral center, and said that the community would do its best to maintain the facility and utilize it to the betterment of the immediate and surrounding communities. Rochas Okorocha, Executive Governor of Imo state attended the commissioning ceremony for the MRC facility in Obowo, and lauded EEPNL’s contribution to maternal healthcare in the state.
In addition to the commissioning of these facilities, EEPNL ran a 5-day Free Rural Medical Aid Project (FRMAP) in each of the three states where the MRCs were constructed. The FRMAP mobilized over fifty (50) volunteer doctors and medical personnel to provide surgical intervention and medical services to over 3500 patients in each MRC location. Under the program, community members receive free access to medication, general health counseling, nutritional education, dental procedures, surgical operations, ophthalmic Procedures (including eye surgeries), optometric consultation and free eye glasses, as well as training for medical personnel within the community.
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