By Michael Eboh
Chevron Nigeria Limited, its affiliate, Star Deep Water Limited and partners in the Agbami project, have further increased their investment in the eradication of tuberculosis in the country to boost sound healthcare delivery in Nigeria, with the donation of a fully equipped chest clinic to Katsina state.
Speaking at the official handover of the clinic to the Katsina State Government in Abuja, Mr. Jeffrey Ewing, Director, Deepwater and Production Sharing Contract, Star Deepwater, noted that the chest clinic, which is the 25th across the country, is a reflection of its determination to improve the healthcare system in Nigeria.
According to Ewing, who was represented by Gbenga Aluko, a Director of the Star Deepwater, the chest clinic, which was donated to Rimi General Hospital, Katsina, comes fully equipped with a standard x-ray machine, male and female wards, treatment rooms, laboratories and Gene Xpert Machine.
Apart from the chest clinic, Ewing said the co-venturers in the Agbami project are also in the verge of handing over several projects.
“The projects, mainly chest clinics, libraries and science laboratories constitute an aspect of the strategic interventions by the Agbami co-venturers. It would interest you to know that we have donated 23 chest clinics to different states of the federation including the Federal capital Territory, Abuja,” he noted.
He explained that in addition to the chest clinics, the partners have implemented awareness programmes on HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases in several communities across the six geo-political zones in the country.
Continuing, he said, “The Co-venturers have also instituted specialised educational scholarship programme in support of health and engineering manpower development in Nigeria through targeted supported for medical, nursing, laboratory sciences and engineering students.
“Some undergraduates of Katsina State extraction are beneficiaries of the Agbami Medical and Engineering scholarship programme.”
Also speaking, Managing Director, Petrobras, Maria das Graças Silva Foster said the project is in line with the partners’ programmes to help improve quality healthcare across the country.
Foster, who was represented by Mrs. Meg Irozuru, Government Relations Manager, Petrobras, expressed optimism that the project will help to stem the tide of tuberculosis and chest-related diseases in Katsina state.
She said, “The partners’ interest and commitment to developing Nigeria’s health sector arises from the fact that we are responsive and responsible corporate citizens of Nigeria.
“Health, they say, is wealth and we believe that by supporting the government to improve healthcare delivery across Nigeria, we are not only fulfilling corporate responsibility to the people, we are also helping to enrich them.”
Receiving the project on behalf of the state, Mr. Mannir Talba, Commissioner for Health, Katsina State, represented by Mr. Muhammed Qabashiru, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, said the establishment of the chest clinic is apt as the state is currently having difficulties in the treatment of tuberculosis patients.
He added that the establishment of the centre is a major step towards the eradication of poverty in the state, noting that the centre will bring about an improvement in the quality of the state’s disease management and control.