By Abubakar Yunusa, Abuja
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Shell Petroleum Development Company-operated joint venture, comprising SPDC, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd, TotalEnergies and NAOC, has kicked off its “Vision First Initiative”, a community-focused eye care programme, in Bayelsa and Rivers states.
The free critical eye care, including surgeries, took place at Edeoha community in Ahoada East Local Government Area, Rivers State and Onopa Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
SPDC’s Community Health Manager, Dr Akin Fajola, said, “Vision First is part of SPDC’s successful medical outreach, Health-in-Motion, which takes free medical services to communities across the Niger Delta. This time, the focus is on promoting healthy eye-care behaviour and helping people to eliminate and prevent visual impairment and childhood blindness in step with the World Health Organisation’s The Right to Sight theme for 2023.”
At the Ahoada East venue, representative of the Rivers State Department of Public Health, Dr Seth Nzor, said, “When we see partners, like SPDC, come to our aid, we are very happy. This programme is particularly critical because of the focus on the number one organ in the body, the eye.”
The Chairman of Ahoada East Council of Traditional Rulers, King Felix Otuwarikpo, said, “Today is a happy day for my people and it would not have been possible without the active collaboration of SPDC, who have come to our aid to address one of the critical challenges of the Upata Kingdom. SPDC is the friendliest corporate organisation in interaction with the people of our area. Every time that we have called them, they have always answered us.”
In appreciation of the support from the NNPC/SPDC/TotalEnergies/NAOC joint venture, the monarch said, “We will not go the way of other communities. Our youths will not block offices or attack pipelines. We have set a development agenda for 10 investments in 10 years for our community. Today, we are on the 6th investment. We will continue to create the right environment for your business. Bring more investments to our people.”
The paramount ruler of Onopa Community, King Tamama Morris, who was represented by the community secretary, Wongs Goodhead Alex, commended SPDC for its show of care to the community.