As many parts of the world continue to grapple with dearth of medical oxygen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commended Total/NNPC and their partners: Sapetro, CNOOC and Prime, for the donation of a medical oxygen plant to the State.
The governor expressed his excitement at the facility, which has the capacity to produce 100 bottles of oxygen per day, noting that it was the biggest of such plant to be commissioned in the State.
The facility, which was commissioned by the governor, is sited at the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu said at the handover event held on Wednesday: “I also want to commend Total/NNPC and their partners for putting together this Oxygen plant here. I have been informed that this facility has the capacity to produce a hundred bottles of oxygen per day…it is much bigger than the one commissioned earlier on. Total and its partners deserve a round of applause. I want to put it on record that we continue to acknowledge all the various support that we have received from Total. I am aware that at the height of the COVID-19, when we were high on the storm, a lot of resources were also supplied and donated by Total Nigeria; both PLC and Total Upstream. Thank you very much.”
Earlier, the Managing Director, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Mike Sangster, who was represented by the Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water, Victor Bandele, highlighted why Total and its partners embarked on the project.
Sangster said: “The COVID-19 pandemic simply made an already bad situation much worse. As the number of cases spiked with Lagos as epicenter, we decided that building and donating a medical oxygen plant would not only help improve the state’s capacity to care for COVID-19 patients , but could further strengthen Lagos’s ability to manage other conditions associated with oxygen deficiency.
“So, in collaboration with the Lagos Ministry of Health and our partners – NNPC, CNOOC, SAPETRO, and PRIME 130 – we decided to build and donate this medical oxygen plant to help meet some of our medical oxygen needs in the state. We believe that this facility would be useful even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He noted that the government of Nigeria had, in its National Policy on Medical Oxygen in health facilities, expressed great concern over high rates of death due to lack of access to oxygen in the nation’s hospitals.
Official figures show that more than 625,000 deaths occur annually in Nigeria due to diseases associated with hypoxaemia – insufficient oxygen in the blood or low blood oxygen saturation.
In children, hypoxaemia is a major fatal complication for pneumonia, accounting for 120,000 under-5 deaths in Nigeria annually.
Evidence from secondary health facilities in Nigeria also shows that 25 per cent of neonates and 12 per cent of under-5 children admitted to hospital with pneumonia, are hypoxaemic admission.
Sangster commended the governor for his leading role in the fight against COVID-19.
He also paid tribute to the state Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, and other health workers in the state for risking their lives for others in the fight against the pandemic.
In his remarks, the Group General Manager, NAPIMS, who was represented by the GM Services, Yunusa Yahaya Jibril, said the NNPC had brought together all stakeholders in the industry to collaborate in the fight against the pandemic with the country as a constituency not just operational areas of the oil companies, in the fight against the pandemic.
Jibril urged the custodians of the oxygen plant to maximise the use of the facility for the benefit of the people.
The event was witnessed by members of the Lagos State Executive Council, Chief Medical Director of the hospital and other medical officers.
Other members of the Total delegation were the Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Services, Abiodun Afolabi; Executive General Manager, Total Country Services, Bunmi Popoola-Mordi; General Manager CSR, Ajukwura Wokomah; Country Communication Manager, Dr. Charles Ebereonwu; as well as other managers and staff.