Dapo Abiodun hails private sector for 80-bed isolation centre in Ogun
December 3, 2021
The governor gave the assurance at the official commissioning of an 80-bed isolation centre donated by Unilever Nigeria Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc.
In his address, Abiodun who was represented by the Noimot Salako-Oyedele, the deputy governor, said Unilever and Lafarge Africa have again demonstrated their commitment to the wellbeing of indigenes and people living in Ogun state particularly as the world navigate the dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We assure the donors that the government will ensure that qualified health personnel are deployed to work in the facility as the government believes that the gesture will significantly contribute towards slowing down the spread of coronavirus within the state,” Salako-Oyedele said.
In providing a background to the project, Tomi Coker, the Ogun state commissioner for health, acknowledged the swift response of both Lafarge Africa and Unilever Nigeria in supporting the state to mitigate the surge of the virus spread through proper response in managing the situation adequately.
“I was excited when both companies reached out to offer their support. Through our strategic engagements, we were able to collaborate to deliver the facility for managing cases of COVID and other possible health outbreaks in the state. We appreciate the two companies for this gesture,” Coker said.
This isolation centre is said to be a purpose-built medical facility equipped with an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
It has an in-house facility for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Testing, an ambulance response, a Computed Tomography (CT) Scan facility, operating theatre, mobile x-ray machines, multi-parameter patient monitoring equipment, among other facilities.
While acknowledging the support which Unilever has received from the Ogun state government, Carl Cruz, the managing director, Unilever West Africa, said collaborating with Lafarge Africa to donate the isolation facility is part of the company’s vision and commitment to make sustainable living commonplace.
“A huge part of our operations is domiciled in Ogun State. Through the years we continue to have a close relationship with the Governor, the government, and citizens of the state,” he said.
“As the state with one of the largest congregations of industries in Nigeria, we have enjoyed support from the state. It is not surprising that we are here today to further push the boundaries of providing state of the art health care facility to support the government and its people in their drive to achieve a novel healthcare system to combat COVID and other health challenges”.
He added that “our response to the pandemic was through our hygiene products that were donated to State Governments (with Ogun as one of the leading beneficiaries), NGOs, religious bodies, and UN agencies, valued at N1.5 billion (Est. Eqv. US$.3m ). In addition, we donated over 16,000 COVID tests and 6 ventilators to support the healthcare system at a time when there was a scarcity of test kits during the pandemic”.
In his remark, Khaled El Dokani, the managing director and country CEO at Lafarge Africa, said the company is fully committed to supporting the government with building sustainable cities while also supporting initiatives that would promote good health and well-being.
“As an organization that is committed to building progress for people and the planet, Lafarge resolutely stands side by side with the government and the people of Ogun state in combating the spread of coronavirus and relieving its impact on people,” Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, Lafarge CFO, who represented the CEO, said.
“This Isolation Centre is a continuation of Lafarge’s support to communities and the Government of Nigeria to limit the human and economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“As we fully hand over this facility to the Ogun State Government, we believe that it will strengthen the resilience of our communities by enhancing the capacity to isolate and treat new cases of infection and Covid-19. The donation of the isolation facility also reminds us that the new coronavirus is still with us, so we should continue to adhere to all necessary precautions to prevent contracting and spreading the virus”.
At the peak of the pandemic, Lafarge converted its facility in Ashaka to an isolation centre fully supported by power generators. This intervention impacted over 11,000 families across Nigeria.
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