The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission,
NDDC, Prof Nelson Brambaifa, has promised that the interventionist agency
will endow a Professorial Chair in Oncology at the University of Port
Harcourt, UNIPORT. This follows a similar endowment of a professorial chair
in malaria research for the university in 2016.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer was speaking during the opening Ceremony
of the 59th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the
Nigerian Medical Association, Rivers State branch, in Port Harcourt.

Prof. Brambaifa, who was chairman of the occasion, noted that the theme of
the conference: “Leveraging Social and Environmental Determinants of
Health,” was most appropriate at this time, as many non-communicable
diseases were on the rise, as a result of social and environmental factors.

He assured that the NDDC would spare no effort to ensure that the people
had access to quality healthcare and would continually promote good
healthcare practices for a healthier Niger Delta.

He said: “our mission, which is to facilitate the sustainable development
of the Niger Delta, comes with a demand on the NDDC to improve the people’s
health and well-being. Like the NMA, therefore, NDDC is sparing no efforts
in intervening in healthcare delivery, by providing health infrastructure,
improving access to healthcare, as well as in taking free healthcare to the
more indigent communities of the region.”

Brambaifa stated that one of the first decisions taken by the current NDDC
management was to revive the free healthcare programme, which he said was
very popular and beneficial. He added: “I am happy to inform you that we
have put everything in place to resume the treatment of our people, free of
charge, taking healthcare to the creeks and communities of the Niger Delta.

“Indeed, this programme has been one of the most significant interventions
by NDDC. On the last count, the free healthcare mission has treated over
1.2 million documented patients, ranging from simple diagnoses to
complicated surgeries. Altogether, we have visited about 3,500 communities
and managed 6,000 referral cases.”

The NDDC boss affirmed that the Commission would continue to partner with
NMA, as experts in the health sector, to provide quality healthcare to
remote communities in the Niger Delta region.

In his remarks at the conference, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike,
represented by his deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo, commended the NDDC for
collaborating with the NMA in carrying out outreach programmes for people
living with disabilities as well as its promise to endow a Professorial
Chair in Oncology.

Governor Wike said studies had shown that the interplay of social factors,
such as life style, education, housing, agriculture and the environment,
determine the health conditions in the society.

Earlier the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr.
Obelebra Adebiyi, said the leading causes of death in the world today were
non-communicable diseases of long duration and generally slow progression,
noting that managing these conditions required behaviour change and
adoption of a healthy life style.

Charles Obi Odili

Director, Corporate Affairs.

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