The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company has boosted Community Health Insurance Scheme in Anambra State with the launch of the initiative at the Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital.
The company launched the scheme in partnership with the Anambra State Government; the Idemili CHIS Board; and two Health Maintenance Organisations – Proserve and Avon.
The initiative is expected to increase health care access for the people, particularly women and children who form a large percentage of health care seekers.
The launch, preceded by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Iyi-Enu Hospital and the two HMOs, was witnessed by the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nathan Ojekwu; the Catholic Bishop of the Niger Delta, Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Owen Nwokolo; the traditional ruler of Nkpor community, Eze C.A. Ibegbunam; and the South East Zonal Coordinator of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Gertrude Mma Ossi, amongst others.
The Shell Regional Community Health Manager, Dr. Babatunde Fakunle, commended the Idemili communities, Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital and the HMOs for the collaboration and for their commitment towards the success of the project.
The Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital which serves more than six communities – Idemili North, Idemili South, Njikoka, Dunukofia, Onitsha North and Oyi – is the oldest facility of its kind in the south eastern part of Nigeria.
It was established by the Church Missionary Society in 1907 and has the distinction of being the birthplace of the prominent author, Chinua Achebe among many other epochal births.
Prior to the launch of the community health insurance scheme, SNEPCo had supported the Iyi-Enu Mission Hospital by strengthening service delivery through stakeholder workshops, capacity building programmes, surveys and the donation of emergency and diagnostic medical equipment such as mammography and dialysis machines worth over N300 million.
The community health insurance scheme was first launched by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited operated joint venture at the Obio Cottage Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Obio scheme enables people to pay a subsidised annual premium to enjoy a wide variety of health services, including vaccinations, pregnancy and childbirth care and surgical operations.
SPDC has extended the scheme to the Rumuokwurushi Model Primary Health Care Centre near Port Harcourt.
Shell Companies in Nigeria have supported community health projects in the Niger Delta since the 1980s, with equipment and pharmaceutical donations as well as the construction of hospitals and implementation of malaria and HIV/AIDs control programmes.