By Yahaya Isah
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Thursday said it had commenced another round of medical outreach programme in Borno.
The Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Adesanya, the new round of medical outreach programme was primarily aimed at enhancing available NAF medical facilities and personnel at the Medical Centre of NAF 105 Composite Group (CG), in Maiduguri.
“This is to position the medical centre to adequately attend to the anticipated increase in the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as a result of the intensive day and night aerial bombardments by NAF,” he said.
In the statement, the NAF Chief of Medical Services Branch, AVM Saleh Shinkafi, also said the programme was an initiative of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Shinkafi said that it was also designed to win the hearts and minds of the locals in the conflict areas.
He said a team comprising different medical specialists had been deployed to the 105 CG Medical Centre to augment the existing medical manpower for the operation.
He said Abubakar had also directed that surgeries be conducted, at no cost to the IDPs, for those requiring surgical interventions.
“Upon deployment, the medical team immediately started attending to critical surgical cases in IDPs camps around Maiduguri, including Bakassi, NYSC, Gubio, Teachers’ Village, CAN Centre, Shuari, Farm Centre, Goni Kachalai, Muna Garage and Dalori.
“So far, NAF medical outreach team has successfully performed 23 general surgeries and 30 eye surgeries on IDPs from the various camps at no cost to them.
“The team of medical specialists extended the medical outreach to the IDPs camp in Rann from where over 30 IDPs had already been transported by NAF helicopter for surgical interventions in Maiduguri,” Shinkafi said.
He said further that the exercise was fourth in the series of surgical interventions lined up by NAF for the IDPs in Borno.
According to him, it is envisaged that surgeries would be conducted on about 150 IDPs during the exercise.
NAF commenced Operation “Ruwan Wuta” few days ago to further degrade the capability of the insurgents thereby, preventing them from regrouping to cause havoc.