Over 3,000 individuals residing in Imo State, particularly those in the state’s oil-producing regions, have undergone cost-free eye surgeries and received various medical services, thanks to a collaborative effort between Seplat Energy and NNPC.
Africa Today News, New York, has learned that this act is a vital facet of the corporate social responsibility healthcare initiative undertaken by oil-producing firms. Its objective is to offer high-quality eye care services to individuals within their host communities.
At the official launch of the 2023 ‘Eye Can See’ initiative in Owerri, Seplat Energy’s Managing Director for East Onshore, Ebi-Ada Hotoi, explained that this multi-million-dollar project is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3. This SDG seeks to promote the health and overall well-being of individuals of all age groups.
According to her, ‘other objectives of the ‘Eye Can See’ initiative include to provide free optical treatment at all levels to members of the communities, reduce cases of permanent loss of vision, provide free reading glasses, and treat other related eye problems.’
‘It also aimed educating patients on ways to care for the eyes and how to detect Glaucoma as well as educate patients on lifestyle changes required to reduce the rates of hypertension and diabetes.’
She further said, ‘this initiative, which commenced 12 years ago has delivered 96,411 eye treatments, dispensed 45,074 reading glasses and performed 4,218 surgeries.’
‘In the JV’s Eastern Asset, where the programme was introduced in 2017, 16, 546 persons have been screened, 7,737 eye glasses dispensed and 577 surgeries performed.’
‘The ongoing programme is planned to screen 3,000 persons, perform 150 Cataract surgeries and provide 2000 reading glasses.’
Also, the representative of NNPC, Wilson Halimat said, ‘NNPC is sensitive to the socioeconomic plights and health of the people. We are glad that NNPC with its partners is adding values on the lives of the people of our communities and the humanity at large.’
She also took the opportunity to thank the host communities, the Imo State Government, and other stakeholders for their continuous support of the company’s endeavors within their regions over the years.
Senator Hope Uzodimma, the State governor, was unable to attend the program’s opening but was represented by Commissioner for Niger Delta Affairs, Prince Dr. Henry Okafor. He conveyed his appreciation to SEPLAT and NNPC for organizing the event and reassured the companies of his government’s steadfast support in the state.
Kelechi Onyinwoka, a resident of Awarra community in Ohaji/Egbema, who underwent eye surgery as one of the program’s beneficiaries, described the healthcare initiative as profoundly humanitarian.
He said, ‘before my eye surgery on Tuesday in Owerri, they carried out a test on BP and Blood Group. They have placed us on drugs for two weeks. I can see clearly now.’
‘SEPLAT and NNPC are doing well to help indigent persons live soundly. I pray that God blesses and sustains them as they intensify the humanitarian services to save more lives, relieve many from excruciating pain arising from ill health’, the beneficiary reiterated.