GE Healthcare, the medical arm of international conglomerate, GE has joined forces with Shell Companies in Nigeria to ensure the successful execution of the Oloibiri Health Programme (OHP), an initiative that seeks to advance sustainable healthcare systems in the West African country.
The Programme was recently inaugurated and includes a remodeled General Hospital, Kolo; Water Treatment Plant; Hybrid Solar Powered System; Medical Laboratory Equipment at the College of Health Technology, Otuogidi and the Dental Chair at the Demonstration Clinic, Otuogidi, which is one of 14 OHP network facilities.
More than 17,000 people and 20 Communities have benefited from the programme over the last three years, which has ensured the training of 117 facility and community health workers and provided business mentorship to 100 entrepreneurs.
In 2015, GE Healthcare and Shell Companies in Nigeria (Shell) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the comprehensive healthcare project in Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA), Bayelsa State.
“The OHP is an expansive initiative being implemented in three phases. As part of the first Phase, the General Hospital Kolo will serve as a referral hub providing 24 hours service with linkages to five Health-for-Life Centres and 13 Ward Health Centres,” explained Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria.
“The second phase projects consists of Oloibiri Health-for-Life Centre, a Ward Health Centre, and a Knowledge Management and Research Centre to be completed by the end of October 2019. The third phase will be the establishment of the pilot Ogbia Community Health Insurance Scheme that will anchor the sustainability of the OHP and will deliver healthcare services using a network of facilities. This is expected to start in December 2019,” he added.
The OHP is a transformational health intervention programme championed by Shell as part of its Social Investment Programme, and in commemoration of the centenary celebrations of Nigeria delivered by GE Healthcare from February 2015 to August 2019.
“Strengthening healthcare systems at the primary and secondary levels is key in accelerating Nigeria’s vision for Universal Health Coverage,” said Eyong Ebai, General Manager for GE Healthcare – West, Central & French Sub-Sahara Africa.
“In the next decades, economic growth in nations will be driven by the extent of human capital accumulation. This is why I am particularly proud of the launch of this programme, because it prepares the people of Ogbia LGA for the challenges of the next century,” said Dr. Olumide Okunola, Senior Health Specialist at the World Bank/International Finance Corporation.
“Human capital development cannot become a reality if the people lack basic healthcare needs, education, skills and capabilities,” he concluded.