No fewer than 350 residents of Opolo community in Bayelsa have so far benefited from the ongoing three days free health service by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony at Opolo Community Primary Health Centre, Mr Igo Weli, General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, said the oil firm had reached some 640,000 people across 50 communities in the Niger Delta region, since the free health scheme kicked off in 2010.
Weli, who was represented by Mr Olayiwola Wakeel, Community Interface Cordinator at SPDC’s Central Health Hub, regretted that access to quality healthcare was being limited by cost and hence, the decision of the oil firm to intervene with “Health in Motion” programme.
He explained that the oil firm engaged in the scheme in collaboration with the Bayelsa Ministry of Health and the Yenagoa Local Government Council.
He noted that the Opolo community which hosts SPDC’s oil wells and facilities, had supported the operations of the oil firm and hence, the gesture to residents of the area in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that hundreds of residents who turned up for the healthcare programme received consultation from a medical team, comprising general physicians, ophthalmologists, dentists and pharmacists.
The medical team also had a health awareness session, as well as breast and cervical cancer screening sessions for the female folks.
A community leader in Opolo, Chief Boniface Odede, who benefited from the scheme, applauded SPDC for the gesture and appealed to the company to ensure that everyone who turned up for the programme was given attention.
He observed that the large crowd at the health facility was an indication that most people in the area could not afford medical services.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Gloria Iloanusi, said that she was pleased with the development and that she brought her baby for immunisation.
She used the opportunity to get treatment for malaria and got an insecticide treated net. (NAN)
(Edited by Olabisi Akinbode/Peter Ejiofor)
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