The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Total Upstream Nigeria Limited and their partners have donated a medical oxygen plant to the Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos.
The plant was inaugurated on Wednesday by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu said one of the most outstanding lessons from the coronavirus pandemic was the need to build stronger and more resilient healthcare systems that would stand the test of time and also lead to improved patient care.
“The provision of quality healthcare that guarantees comfort and longevity is a fundamental pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda.
“We will continue to implement audacious reforms in the heath sector because the continued wellbeing of the people of Lagos is non-negotiable,” he said.
The governor noted that the inauguration of the oxygen plant was being done alongside the inauguration of Oxygen Triage Centre and a new Blood Transfusion Service Office at Gbagada General Hospital built by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“As we prepare to celebrate the second anniversary of this administration, we are more determined than ever before to raise the standard and quality of our healthcare system to meet the healthcare needs of all residents of Lagos.
“We will continue to ensure that they have access to quality healthcare irrespective of their socio-economic status. Although there is still so much to be done, I am proud of the considerable progress we have made in the last two years. ”
He thanked the NNPC, Total, Chevron and other companies for their support to the state during the peak of the pandemic, stressing that all hands must remain on deck to create a sustainable healthcare sector for Nigerians.
Earlier, Mr Mike Sangster, the Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, said the coronavirus pandemic further worsened access to oxygen in Nigeria’s health institutions.
Sangster, represented by Mr Victor Bandele, Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water, Total, said more than 625,000 deaths occurred annually in Nigeria due to diseases associated with hypoxaemia (insufficient oxygen in the blood or low blood oxygen saturation).
He expressed optimism that the plant would not only help improve the state’s capacity to care for COVID-19 patients, but could further strengthen Lagos’ ability to manage other conditions associated with oxygen deficiency.
“So, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health and our partners- NNPC, China National Offshore Oil Company, South Atlantic Petroleum and PRIME Oil, we decided to build and donate this medical oxygen plant to help meet some of our medical oxygen needs in the state.
“We believe that this facility would be useful even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sangster said.
He said the plant which had a production capacity of 100 bottles of medical oxygen daily was one in a series of interventions that Total had made to support the Federal and State Governments to tackle COVID-19.
Sangster said Total and 30 other upstream operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, led by the 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 and medical infrastructure.
“Total contributed N1 .2 billion to the initiative,” he said.
The Total boss also lauded Sanwo-Olu and the commissioner for health for their frontline roles in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the state