By Azoma Chikwe

Heineken Africa Foundation (HAF) in collaboration with Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) recently commissioned an upgraded neonatal ward at the Lagos University Teaching hospital, LUTH.

The project involved a physical and infrastructural upgrade of electrical installations to modern versions as well as a provision of piped oxygen and air to the neonatal unit complex. It also involved an upgrade of plumbing facilities to ensure availability of potable water in the unit.

The facility was also equipped with 2 Bubble CPAP Machine Systems, 1 Neo Puff F/P Resuscitator, 12 Phototherapy units, 2 Pulse Oximeters, 8 baby incubators and 4 Multiparameter monitors, 6 infusion pumps, 6 Humidifiers continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) Spares, 1 ISTAT Blood Gas Machine and two weighing scales.

Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Kufre Ekanem, representing the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Johan Doyer, revealed that the Heineken Africa Foundation partners with Heineken Operating Companies like Nigerian Breweries Plc, in Africa to execute projects in communities identified with health and water challenges.

“The Heineken Africa Foundation was established to support projects that improve health care and water supply for communities in Sub-Saharan Africa where access to basic healthcare and clean water poses a challenge,” Ekanem said. 

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Ekanem further stressed that the donation is in line with Nigerian Breweries philosophy of winning with Nigeria. “As we win with Nigeria, we want other sectors of the economy to win and have significant growth that would positively affect the lives of the people,” he said.

Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, represented by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee(CMAC), Prof. Olufemi Fasanmade, expressed his profound gratitude to Heineken Africa Foundation and Nigerian Breweries Plc, commending the donation as phenomenal and comparable to none embarked upon by any corporate organisation in the country.

“Nigerian Breweries Plc and Heineken Africa Foundation has brought succour to our aged infrastructures in LUTH which will save over 400 new borns that come to us through referrals monthly,” he said.

Head, Neo Natology, LUTH and President, Nigerian Society of Neonatal Medicine, NISONM, Prof. Chinyere Ezeaka, revealed that the facilities provided by HAF and NB will help challenge the index record which placed Nigeria as the country with the highest infant mortality rate in Africa and second highest infant mortality rate in the world. She applauded their commitment to healthcare and called on other organisations to take giant strides in the direction that the nation’s foremost brewer and its mother company, Heineken, has set.

Other guests present at the commissioning ceremony included Honourable Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla, member, Federal House of Representatives, Mushin II Constituency, Lagos, Mrs. Christiana Odiazikwor, Public Relations Officer, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) who represented the acting Director-General of NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Oni, as well as other professors of medicine, doctors, nurses, students and other staff of the hospital.