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Covid-19: Total to Continue Interventions in Nigeria’s Health Sector

……….by Ben Ndubuwa……..
Total Exploration and Producton Nigeria Limited has said it will continue to provide interventions in the health sector as it considers Nigeria as home with communities where it operates.

The French oil giant said that out of the N21 billion contributed by oil companies in Nigeria last year during the heat of covid-19 it contributed N1.2 billion to the federal Government’s COVID-19 effort to combat the pandemic.

The oil multinational said it was also in discussion with the government on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for Nigerians.

Total on Thursday during a media chat with Journalists said the company is keen on the sustainability of projects and its interventions; that is why the company prefers to complete programmes and projects before talking about them

Mr Alex Aghedo, Executive General Manager, Operations Support Services, Total, disclosed this during his presentation at a virtual meeting.

He said: “Total and 30 other upstream operators in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry, led by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), donated N21 billion to the federal government’s COVID-19 effort.

“In the first phase, the donation covered three thematic areas, namely, provision of medical consumables; deployment of logistics and in patient support services as well as medical infrastructure. Total’s contribution was $3.2 million” he said.

According to him, the company also carried out other interventions including donation of hospital beds, surgical ventilators, dialysis machines and face masks to the Lagos and Rivers State Governments.

Aghedo said : “In collaboration with the Lagos Ministry of Health and our partners, we decided to build and donate a medical oxygen plant at the Gbagada General Hospital.

”We believe that this facility would be useful even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It would not only help improve the state’s capacity to care for COVID-19 patients but also further strengthen capacity to manage other conditions associated with oxygen deficiency.”

He said the facility was in the last stages of construction and would be handed over to the Lagos State Government very soon.

Leading the session, the Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Services, Mr. Abiodun Afolabi said Total was keen on the sustainability of projects and its interventions; that is why the company prefers to complete programmes and projects before talking about them.

“For us, it is not a short-term aim; what we are doing is for the long term. We want to see that what we are doing is sustainable. Our own is not just to deliver and walk away, we donate and follow up to see that what we have given has brought value or the envisaged impact,” Mr Afolabi said. He stated that by so doing, lessons are learned for the sustainability of the next project” he said.

“Total is building two Emergency and Infectious Diseases (EID) Hospitals, one each in Maiduguri and Katsina, in addition to two Diagnostics Centres, one each in Minna and Damaturu.” This was followed by similar contributions to States. It cited Lagos state which got 20 Hospital Beds; 2 Surgical Ventilators; 2 Primaflex Dialysis Machines; 50,000 Litres of Fuel/ Diesel 2,000+ Face Masks at a time that the pandemic made such items difficult to procure.
Realizing that the challenges brought about by the pandemic could potentially worsen the situation of persons living with HIV/AIDS, we reached out to the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, NEPHWAN in Lagos with foodstuff, sanitary products and the much-needed antiretroviral drugs” he said.

The company explained that in Rivers State, it donated food items which included 800 bags of rice, 6,000 tubers of yam, 3,000+ cartons of noodles etc. to Egi Communities. To Erema General Hospital in OML 58, it donated Medical Beds, Safety Gowns, Goggles, Sanitizers, Sprayers, Drugs, Disinfectants and more. Total also donated medical equipment to the 6 Division of Nigerian Army in Rivers State.

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