By Samson Willie
SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Plc has commissioned the renovated Oben Cottage Hospital in Oben, Edo State.
The company also held the 2018 edition of its annual Safe Motherhood Programme, which is in alignment with the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) of the UN that promotes good health and well-being.
This year’s programme is proceeding under the theme – “Child Spacing”. The 28-bed hospital was part of the assets acquired by Seplat following the divestment by Shell in 2010 of its interests in OMLs 4, 38 & 41.
The Company’s Operations Director, Effiong Okon, led a team from Seplat while the Commissioner for Health, Edo State (represented by the Director, Hospital Services/Chief Executive, Edo State Hospital Management Board), Dr. Chris Obaseki, traditional rulers and chiefs from Benin Kingdom attended the event.
Speaking at the event, Okon said, “The Safe Motherhood programme is one of Seplat’s core social responsibility, which we take very seriously. In fact, our CEO, Austin Avuru, is always talking about giving back to the communities where we operate. That is why we take it very seriously. We have been doing the programme for seven years.
What we have done is just a tip of the iceberg. This relationship with the community is not a sprint relationship, it is a marathon relationship. We are committed to making a lot of investment in Oben in the next 10 to 30 years subject to the amount of gas reserves we have in the community.”
Commenting on this year’s edition, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, General Manager, External Affairs and Communications, said that the programme has been “impactful in the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the communities through the provision of safe delivery kits, insecticide treated nets, distribution of supplements and vitamins as well as the one-on-one consultations received by every pregnant woman who accesses the programme.”
The Edo State Commissioner for Health speaking through his representative remarked that the state government is passionate about good healthcare for its citizens and so is appreciative of the efforts of all towards providing qualitative healthcare delivery to its citizenry.
While thanking Seplat for the gesture of renovating the hospital, he said, “The state government will continue to partner in ensuring that healthcare delivery is not just accessible but also affordable in line with the state government’s cardinal objectives.”