In continuation with the series of efforts aimed at alleviating the plights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East and other parts of the country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced a 2-week medical outreach for IDPs in Maiduguri and Damboa Local Government Areas of Borno State.
With the theme, “Alleviating the Medical/Surgical Needs of IDPs in Maiduguri and Damboa”, the medical outreach also involved surgical interventions for those with complicated and critical health challenges.
The leader of the NAF Medical Outreach Team, who is also the Director of Public Health and Humanitarian Services at Headquarters NAF, Group Captain Azubuike Chukwuka, said the outreach programme was at the instance of the Chief of the Air staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
He said it is to assuage the sufferings of the IDPs as well as enhancing civil military relations, as part of the ‘winning the hearts and minds’ strategy of the NAF.
Since the commencement of the exercise on 13 February 2018, the NAF Medical Outreach Team has conducted a total of 71 eye surgeries and 31 general surgeries on IDPs in Maiduguri and Damboa.
At Damboa alone, 32 eye surgeries and 10 general surgeries have been conducted on IDPs, after screening 682 of them who had various eye-related ailments.
In addition, the NAF Medical Outreach Team has so far provided free medical treatment to 590 IDPs at Damboa alone.
Therefore, a total of 1272 IDPs have been successfully attended to in Damboa while more are expected to benefit from the NAF humanitarian intervention scheme, which is still ongoing.
The beneficiaries were full of appreciation to the NAF for the humanitarian gesture and therefore thanked the CAS for the initiative, which had reportedly added much value to their lives.
The beneficiaries also called on well-meaning Nigerians and organizations to emulate the NAF noting that the intervention could not have come at a better time than now as most of the IDPs cannot afford the cost for such surgeries if left to foot the bills.
It is significant to note that the NAF had carried out such free medical interventions in all geo-political zones of the country, with the most recent successfully conducted at Enugu, Bakassi and Makurdi.
According to Group Captain Azubuike Chukwuka, the exercise is expected to end on 1 March 2018.
Air Vice Marshal
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force