Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) on Wednesday launched a programme to distribute fully equipped 100 ambulances worth Rs 200 million among district and tehsil headquarter hospitals and basic health units (BHUs) across the country. These ambulances will be distributed in collaboration with the local administration to BHUs, THQ and DHQ hospitals surrounding OGDCL operational fields. The launching ceremony took place here at OGDCL Head Office and was attended by distinguished guests. Federal Secretary of Petroleum Division Captain (Retd) Muhammad Mahmood was the chief guest. Speaking at the occasion, OGDCL MD/CEO Ahmed Hayat Lak highlighted the importance of the programme in the country’s health sector and emphasized that the initiative would help improve people’s access to health services. He further added that as a responsible corporate citizen, OGDCL had not only launched several initiatives in health sector but also in education, water supply, sports, and infrastructure development. OGDCL Executive Director (Services) Zia Salahuddin provided a comprehensive introduction to the programme, outlining the salient features of the ambulances and the modalities for their distribution. Speaking on the occasion, Captain (Retd) Muhammad Mahmood emphasized the importance of the CSR programme. He commended OGDCL for taking such an initiative to ensure health facilities for masses across the country. The secretary petroleum gave valuable suggestions for augmenting the CSR initiatives and improving the outreach. He stressed the need for focusing on capacity building of the youth. OGDCL – which is the largest exploration and production company working across Pakistan – took the initiative under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, informed OGDCL Manager External Communications Babar Iftikhar Warraich. He said the company had an impressive track record for carrying out social work in areas where it operated for welfare of local communities. OGDCL has always exceeded its CSR obligations and spent more on welfare projects for the communities nearby it’s operational areas, he added. “Most of the places where company operates are remote with limited health facilities for the locals. OGDCL provides health facilities at its locations to the locals, however in cases where emergency care is required, people face difficulty for moving the patients to hospitals. Keeping this hardship to account, OGDCL has devised the programme to distribute fully equipped 100 ambulances to DHQ and THQs hospitals and BHUs across the country.” He said the ambulances would play a major role in strengthening the referral system, a key aspect in achieving health coverage. He was hopeful that the delivery of these ambulances would enhance the ability of public health services to respond to medical emergencies, provide timely referrals for patients in severe and life-threatening conditions, especially for people living in hard-to-reach areas or those not able to afford transportation. Warraich further said OGDCL was striving hard to improve the livelihood of the communities through CSR initiatives in various sectors. Being the largest contributor towards CSR in the country’s corporate sector, OGDCL also distributed 15 basic life support ambulances in its operational districts at the cost of Rs 95.40 million in the year 2019-20, he added.