NLNG Commences Hospital Support Programme, Signs MoU with Six Teaching Hospitals

•Projects to gulp $6m

Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited yesterday kicked off its programme to help improve facilities at hospitals across the country with the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with six Nigerian teaching hospitals nationwide.

The NLNG said 12 hospitals from the six geographical zones in the country would benefit from its intervention programme.

It stated that six of the 12 hospitals were selected as part of the first phase of the NLNG hospital support programme.

The teaching hospitals in Phase 1 included the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) Kano; University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH); University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) and Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Yenagoa.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NLNG, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, who signed on behalf of the company, said NLNG Board approved the implementation of the programme in the 12 university teaching/tertiary hospitals across the six geopolitical zones and Abuja to be executed at cost not exceeding $500,000 per hospital, with a total cost outlay of $6 million.

According to him, the NLNG Hospital Support Programme is a long-term response to needs identified in the medical sector in 2020, at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic when there was an urgency to upgrade health facilities across the country to contain envisaged surge in patients.

Mshelbila said the NLNG had earlier donated medical equipment and consumables worth over N1.4 billion to some federal and state medical institutions and facilities in its host communities to help in the fight against the pandemic.

He said: “This Hospital Support Programme, approved by the NLNG Board of Directors for 12 university teaching/tertiary hospitals across the six geopolitical zones and Abuja, will be executed at the cost not exceeding $500,000 per hospital, with a total cost outlay of $6 million. Specific programmes for the beneficiary institutions will be executed in two phases.”

Furthermore, Mshelbila explained that under phase one of the programme the company would sponsor the renovation and reequipping of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Ward (Block C) at LUTH.

He said the company would sponsor the construction and equipment of a modern Maternity and Child Complex at UATH, while at the AKTH, the programme would deliver an Occupational Therapy and Neuromodulation Rehabilitation Centre.

For the UBTH, Mshelbila said the target was to achieve the remodelling and conversion of an existing building into a 15-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

He also said the NLNG intends to provide a 6-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with 4-bed Renal Dialysis connected to the existing operating theatre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH).

In addition, Mshelbila said the project would provide a Neuro-Surgical Centre for the UCTH.

The NLNG boss further said other six university teaching Hospitals to benefit from the programme in phase two would be the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital

(ATBUTH), Bauchi; Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH); Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi; Federal Medical Centre, Asaba; University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH); and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) in Rivers State.

Mshelbila said findings of a NEEDS’ analyses carried out at the universities would decide projects to be executed in this phase are in their final stages.

“Our estimation as indicated in the MoU that we are here to sign today is that projects in Phase One will be completed in 2022, while Phase Two projects will be completed in 2023,” he added.

Speaking on the importance of the projects, Mshelbila said that the successful completion of the NLNG Hospital Support Programme would give greater access to medical care to a wider population of Nigerians.

He said the Hospital Support Programme was the company’s response to the pressure on the medical sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He stated that NLNG and its partners in the project would significantly impact the healthcare system in the country by improving the fitness status of the beneficiary medical facilities.

On his part, the General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Andy Odeh said the NLNG Hospital Support Programme (HSP) was the second part of the company’s national Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. He said the first part was the University Support Programme (USP) for construction/rehabilitation of modern engineering laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge equipment in six universities, namely the University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Port-Harcourt, University of Maiduguri, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

The Chief Medical Director of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Prof. Bissallah Ekele who responded on behalf of other CMDs gave assurances that they would collaborate effectively to ensure the successful implementation of the support of the hospital projects.

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