Delta State Government Partners EGCDF, Chevron for Sustainable Health Delivery in Ijaw Communities

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Dr Itimi Joseph Terry, Medical Officer Toronto Group and his team at the Egbema Cottage Hospital, Tsekelewu.

By Shina Badmus

The Egbema-Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF) a community-based organisation (Regional Development Committee) under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) pioneered by the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture since 2005, is happy to announce the handing over of two cottage hospitals built by the Foundation in Oporoza and Tsekelewu  to the Delta State Government to support effective primary healthcare delivery in the communities. The event took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 12 and 13, 2019.

According to Comrade Jude Ukori, Chairman, EGCDF, “The project execution is in keeping with EGCDF’s mission to promote sustainable development, peace and economic prosperity in the communities in keeping with the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between the communities in EGCDF, the Delta State Government and the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture.”

Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of Egbema Kingdom cutting the tape to commission the Egbema Cottage Hospital at Tsekelewu. On her immediate right is Sam Daibo, Area Manager, CNL; Delta State Chief of Staff, Hon. Tam Brisbe and a traditional ruler. On her left is Dr Ben Nkechika DG/CEO Delta State Contributory Health Commission.

Comrade Ukori thanked the Delta State Government for taking over the Cottage Hospital and other stakeholders for their support to EGCDF and stated that the move will greatly add value to the lives of the community members.

According to him, “This is a world-class arrangement. The cottage hospitals would be managed by the Toronto Hospital group. The Cottage Hospitals will provide free healthcare for pregnant women, Senior Citizens and Children under 5 while every other person can access treatment by paying an annual subscription of seven thousand naira (N7,000) only.”

His Majesty, Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom cutting the tape to commission the Gbaramatu Cottage Hospital at Oporoza. On his immediate right is Hon. Tam Brisibe, Delta State Chief of Staff; Comrade Jude Ukori, EGCDF chairman. On his left is Mr. Sam Daibo, Area Manager, CNL; Chief Julius Tonfawei, Perediwei of Gbaramatu kingdom and Engr. Jeremiah Oritselone, rep NDDC.

In his comments, Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs, expressed the company’s delight over the completed projects.

He noted that the takeover of the EGCDF’s cottage hospitals in Tsekelewu and Oporoza by the Delta State Government is a welcome development in the progression of the GMoU.“This is a validation of the sustainability plan of the GMoU. By this project, the GMoU has taken another huge step towards sustainability of projects,” he said.

“To facilitate steady sustainable development in the communities, the GMoU+ focuses on sustainable economic empowerment programs, employment generation and alignment with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he further explained.

Mr. Brikinn added that Chevron  Supports sustainable development by contributing through its work in protecting people and the environment and by investing in health, education and economic development.

“Through the cottage hospitals, we are helping to achieve  two of the UN SDGs which include Health and Wellness,” he added.

The Egbema Cottage Hospital Complex in Tsekelewu

 

Delta State Governor, Senator Okowa, who was represented by Chief of Staff, Hon. Tam Brisbe expressed his delight with the Cottage Hospitals.

He commended Chevron for funding the project and the EGCDF for executing the project excellently.

He reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure Universal Health Coverage in Delta State.

According to him, the Delta State Contributory Health Commission representing the Delta State Government in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is partnering with the Bank of Industry and the Pharmaccess Foundation for an “Access to Finance” program to revitalise 25 defunct Healthcare facilities in rural communities leveraging on the Private Sector capacity and efficiency of service under the Bank of Industry SME program.

The Gbaramatu Cottage Hospital Complex in Oporoza

“These Cottage Hospitals in Tsekelewu and Oporoza have been adopted as part of the scheme to ensure Egbema and Gbaramatu Communities have qualitative healthcare delivery,” he said.

It would be observed that CNL has invested over 5.56 billion Naira in EGCDF since its inception. Using part of this fund, the EGCDF has executed infrastructural and non- infrastructural projects like road and drainages, jetties, capacity building in Agricultural entrepreneurship and cottage hospitals.

Other achievements of the EGCDF include scholarships (local and foreign in Master’s and PhD degrees) in addition to free eye treatment for  community members.