By Idris Bakare
Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd has emerged best company in the Good Health and Well-being category at the 12th SERAS Awards.
The Company was recognized for its Safe Birth Initiative (SBI) – a partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals and an NGO, Medshare International Inc., that aims to tackle the high rate of maternal and newborn deaths in Nigeria.
SBI is focused on supporting doctors and nurses to achieve successful birth outcomes by strengthening the capacity of target public hospitals in three critical areas – the procurement of vital maternal and neonatal medical equipment and supplies to enable safe deliveries and post-delivery emergency care; training biomedical engineering technicians to improve equipment maintenance and uptime; and reactivating a large stock of abandoned medical equipment wasting away in public hospitals.
The first phase of the initiative is currently under implementation and will provide 15 major public hospitals recommended by the Federal Ministry of Health with hospital equipment, kits and supplies with a total conservative value of about $10.8 million, i.e. over N3.8 billion.
The Safe Birth Initiative is expected to ultimately improve the affordability and accessibility of maternity health care services in the beneficiary hospitals.
On receiving the award, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Coca-Cola Nigeria remarked, “Awards like these encourage us to do more and strengthen our resolve to provide solutions to the various challenges facing the communities in which we serve. We thank our project partners and dedicate this award to the brave medical professionals in hospitals across Nigeria who work tirelessly to ensure that mothers and their babies go back home alive.”
Earlier in the year, SBI marked the graduation of 20 biomedical engineering technicians, from 10 leading medical institutions across the country, who had undergone an intensive two-week capacity training focused on improving equipment maintenance and uptime, as well as the delivery and installation of a full consignment of 4 units of 40-foot shipping containers of medical equipment at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Consignments for Federal Medical Centres in Ebute-Metta have arrived in the country and are scheduled for installation in the coming weeks, as needs assessments are conducted at other approved hospitals.