Kwali General Hospital in Abuja is the latest health centre to get a GeneXpert machine for diagnosing tuberculosis in Nigeria in a new chest clinic and referral centre built by the oil firm Chevron.

The clinic, handed over to Kwali GH management and opened last week, was built with the FCT ministry providing land, permits, manpower, electricity and security.

Kwali GH Medical Director, Dr Jude Okonkwo, said the clinic–equipped with standard x-ray machines, wards, treatment rooms and laboratories–was crucial to the area council but would need more trained manpower to address Kwali’s health needs, especially in managing TB and HIV/AIDS.

The clinic is the 20th to be built by Chevron’s Agbami partners–Star Deepwater, Famfa Oil, NNPC, Statoil and PetroleoBrasileiro–which operate Agbami field, considered Chevron’s largest oil find in deepwater West Africa.

Since it was awarded in 2004 and started production in 2008, Agbami contributes some 250,000 barrels of oil a day at its peak to Nigeria’s total oil production, said Deji Haastrup, Chevron’s general manager for policy, government and public affairs, who spoke on behalf of Star Deepwater’s director Jeffrey Ewing.

The field is some 113 kilometres offshore Nigeria, but “we view the entire country as the Agbami community,” he added.

The chest clinic on Kwali GH premises is the 20th donated by Agbami, which also plans to site four more at existing health facilities around the country before year end.

“Feedback reaching us shows that the intervention in health has brought significant improvement to people’s lives and empowered people across the country,” said Dr Olubukola Fagade, Chevron’s medical director.

Dr Fagade emphasised hope that the clinic will improve diagnosis and monitoring of TB, reduce risk of TB in Abuja and its surrounds, and eliminate hazards of spread and co-infection [with HIV/AIDS] which could increase risks or result in deaths.

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