About 5000 residents from Mbo communities were beneficiaries of the five-day medical outreach organised by Oriental Energy Resources Limited at Okobo Ebughu Primary Health Centre, Mbo LGA, in Akwa Ibom State.
The annual extended medical services undertaken by Faith Optical and Medical Services Limited were part of Oriental Energy’s community relations project that started on Tuesday 4th to Saturday 9th October 2022.
Dr Uwem Ite, speaking on behalf of the company team said, “Oriental believes in creating positive feedback and footprint in their areas of operation. The reason we are doing this is that there are several unmet health needs in the community.”
Dr Ite, Head, of Community and Government Relations, Oriental Energy Resources emphasized that the yearly exercise was to fulfil United Nations Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) Number 3. UN SDG No. 3 emphasizes Health for All and all Ages.
The medical outreach carried out Checks on Vital Signs, Consultations with Doctors and Ante-Natal Services. Also offered were free Laboratory screening, Drugs Dispersion and Ophthalmology.
Reacting to the huge turnout of patients at Ebughu, Dr David Ehimhen, Head of Faith Optical and Medical Services, said the 2022 edition has surpassed last year’s edition. Also, lots of supplies like pregnancy kits, mosquito nets, and reading glasses were exhausted earlier than expected.
However, further interaction with the medical outreach coordinator revealed alarming health concerns in the locality that needed urgent interventions from authorities.
Reports of very high incidences of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections attributed to high unprotected sex.
“From my records so far, a lot of teenage pregnancy, a lot of young girls coming with big tummy for pregnancy kits.”
Dr Ehimhen advocates for birth control practice in the community. He was also happy that there were no cases of River Blindness.
However, as Dr Uwem Ite was conducted around different units of the outreach facility, a woman with the issue of cataracts was spotted. She was brought in for checks by her teenage daughter. A doctor who examined the lady confirmed a special case of bilateral cataracts.
Dr Ite directed the physician to make a special report on the case for immediate action recommendations to the company authorities. The poor woman’s case would require a surgical procedure but the Oriental Energy free medical outreach is not authorised to conduct surgery. Dr Ite confirmed this was true because of the lack of facilities to support surgery in the immediate vicinity.
The Youth President of the host community, Billy Bassey confirmed that much awareness was created and that influenced the turnout of people. He thanked the leadership of Oriental Energy Resources Limited and requested capacity development of the youths.
“Much thanks to Oriental Energy, please keep the flag flying. But we will request scholarship schemes and skills development training. If they have been doing these, I have not heard or seen them.”
Mr Bassey also confirmed that Chiefs of the community and elders were the first to receive the free medical services on Tuesday.