Esso, NNPC Commission Eruku Maternity Referral Centre, hands over to community

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Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited ( EEPNL), an affiliate of Exxon Corporation and the on Tuesday commissioned  the Maternity Referral Centre at Eruku, Kwara State and formally handing over the facility  the community.
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Other being offered are ophthalmic procedures including eye surgeries, optometric consultation and dispensing of free eye glasses, guidance and counseling services as well as training for medical personnel.

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In his speech at the commissioning and handing over ceremonies, the Group Medical Director, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, Dr Mohammed Bello Aliyu, said: “the Maternity Referral Centre will support the community and indeed the state by drastically decreasing the infant and under-five mortality rate, reducing pregnancy-related deaths, improving health outcomes of premature and low-birth-weight babies, decreasing the number of disabilities and increasing lifetime productivity”. He noted that the facility will go a long way in the care and treatment of pregnant , babies and their mothers and enhance the living standards of the people of Kwara State and itsenvirons.

Estimated to cost over N160 million, Aliyu disclosed that the state of the art, ready-to-use health centre is fully loaded with modern equipment and furnishings as well as guaranteed 24-hour power supply with the installation of a solar power system. It also has a brand new ambulance vehicle for use in case of emergencies. It was built and equipped by Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He commended the Kwara  for partnering with Esso/NNPC to see to the success of this Centre by its decision to staff the Centre as well as keep it up and running.

The Esso Chief Medical Director also paid glowing tributes to the management of Africa, noting that the commissioning ceremony would have not been possible if they did not have the cognate support of Development Africa, which also shares in the vision of EEPNL and NNPC. “Their passion and untiring efforts coupled with their expertise have brought about the reality that this MRC is today.

“Now that the Centre has been handed over to the State Government and the community, it is no longer the property of EEPNL and NNPC but that of the community”. The Esso medical boss therefore tasked the community to devise means to protect the building, equipment and furnishings being vandalised so that it can serve the community for many years to come.

“I have no doubt that the community will take ownership of the Centre and treat it as precious jewel that it should be”, he stated noting that this cooperation had already been demonstrated during the period of construction and equipping as we received maximum support from the community and nearby villages. He also thanked the traditional rulers, the women and youths for the support received thus far.

The NNPC representative at the occasion Dr. Kenny Obateru described the project as a manifestation of the commitment of NNPC and its partners to contribute to the provision of quality healthcare delivery, capacity building and world-class Referral Centre in the health sector in Nigeria and Kwara in particular. He noted that it was a commitment to the overall well of the Nigerian and child.

Obateru, an indigene of Eruku thanked the government and the beneficiary community for their immense support during the course of establishing the centre and pleaded with them to imbibe a good maintenance culture and to keep the facility in good condition so that it would continue to serve them for years to come.

While commissioning the facility, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state commended EEPNL, NNPC and all the partners in the health sector for working with the state to build a beneficial health system for our people. “Our modest achievements in accessible health care delivery as well as infant and maternal health have been attained with your support and partnership. Indeed, we are grateful”, Ahmed stated.

Founder and President of the Wellbeing Foundation, Mrs Toyin Sarakicommended the EEPNL and its development partners for their selflessness in siting the state-of-the- art Maternity Centre in Kwara, even though the companies do not derive their income from the state.

The Maternity Referral Centre at Eruku, Kwara State is one of the three Centres that Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are providing to the Nigerian people. The other two are in Sagbama in Bayelsa State and Obowo in Imo State.