As part of its corporate social responsibilities and support for host communities, Oriental Energy Resources Limited carried out free comprehensive medical services in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.About 4,000 patients drawn from five communities, namely Enwang, Ebughu, Effiat, Uda and Udesi benefited from the exercise at the Primary Health care Operational Base, Enwang, the headquarters of the local government area.
Deputy Manager, Community Relations of Oriental Energy Resources Limited, Anslem Okere explained that the programme was part of his company’s efforts to impact positively on the host communities and also complement government’s efforts, adding that the firm has also provided other social investments in the host communities to enhance the living conditions of members of the host communities.
His words: “We operate in Mbo and this programme is part of our social investments to our host communities. The impact has been tremendous and the people can attest to it. We must commend the host communities for providing very good environment conducive enough to work. We have an excellent relationship with them. Although Akwa Ibom is part of the Niger Delta, the area is peaceful and we don’t take their peaceful disposition for granted.
“So, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibilities, we carry out this outreach, among other social investments we have provided for them such as the 100 units Oriental Village and the state-of-the-art skill acquisition centre at Enwang, the science laboratories for Biology, Chemistry and Physics at Ebughu Grammar Secondary School. We work with the Community Relations Committee (CRC) which represents the various communities. We do need assessment for every project to know what they want and we provide exactly what they want for them. As such, there is no friction.”
Managing Director, Faith Optical and Medical Services Limited, Dr. David Ehimhen expressed delight over the massive turnout of patients and praised them for their orderly conduct, even as he listed the various diseases treated to include hypertension, diabetes, malaria, cataract and hepatitis B, among others.
He said: “It has been a peaceful and successful exercise and the turnout has been massive and challenging. In a programme such as this, you will expect massive turnout, but we ensured that everybody was attended to. We had security personnel on ground and other community youths to control the crowd and ensure everything goes on well.
“The Community Relations Committee co-operated with us and Community Liaison
Officer was around all through to ensure that there were no hitches.
“We gave out 200 ante-natal kits and over 1,000 mosquito nets. We carried out malaria and hepatitis B tests, and we treated a lot of malaria cases. We discovered a lot of diabetes, cataract and hypertension cases. The few HIV/AIDS that were reactive, we followed a channel to manage it. This health centre is HIV centre and we just collaborate with them to continue the investigation and if it is confirmed, they will take up the management’’.
People of the area were overwhelmed by the firm’s magnanimity, even as they urged it to carry out the exercise frequently and provide other social amenities in their communities to give them a sense of belonging, pledging to always protect the facilities of the company in their domain.
Expectant mothers also expressed their appreciations to the firm. Helen Russel from Uda and Mercy Bassey from Ebughu who spoke on their behalf said: “We thank the company for the kits to enable us cater for our babies. We commend you and we pray God to continue to ensure hitch-free operations and well-being of your workers’’.
Chairman, Effiat Council of Chiefs, Matthias Nta, praised the company for following its policies on community relations to the letter and pledged that the Effiat people would continue to play their role as good hosts to the firm.
Chief Nta also advised the company to work with the Committee constituted by the Council of Chiefs, urging it to provide more social amenities to make lives comfortable for the people in the riverside community.
Also speaking, His Royal Highness, Ovong Savier Edet Ekpe, a retired Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) from Udung Eyo in Unyenge commended the firm for the gesture.
‘’From the look of things, I have seen a lot of people and it is something worth doing because health is wealth. I am highly impressed by the way the company is carrying out the outreach. I have been treated and my message is that this should be a continuous exercise so that many people can benefit from it’’, he said.
Hon Etim Okon Abang, the village head of Apranpran Uda, described the turnout of patients as unprecedented and equally praised the firm for coming to the aid of the people in her area.