By Joy Odor
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commenced 3-day medical outreach to give some succour to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Zonkwa, Zangon-Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) and Mariri in Lere LGA of Kaduna State for victims of recent armed banditry attacks in the State.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA in a press statement in Abuja explained that the free medical services, an initiative of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar began yesterday, 23 August 2020.
He noted that the aim of the free medical services is to enhance good civil-military relations between the NAF and host communities as well as alleviating the hardship being experienced by the IDPs who are currently camped at Mercy IDP Camp in Zonkwa and the Mariri IDP Camp in Lere LGA.
According to him, the first phase of the medical outreach will end on 25 August 2020 while the outreach in Mariri will commence on 27 August 2020.
“The free healthcare services that would be offered during the outreach include; free medical check-up and consultation with treatment of malaria, hypertension, diabetes, ulcers and provision of prescription medications as well as free dental examination/treatment.
“Other medical services that would be offered during the exercise include free visual acuity checks and provision of prescription eye glasses, free minor surgical procedures, de-worming and immunization of children as well as donation of insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
“The Medical Team would also give health education talks on COVID-19 and distribute non-surgical cloth face masks to the IDPs.
“In addition, relief materials, including cartons of noodles, soap and detergents as well as blankets and bags of garri, were also distributed to the IDPs he added.
Flagging off the medical outreach, the Chairman, Zangon-Kataf LGA, Dr Elias Manza, who was represented by the Vice Chairman of the Local Government, Mr Tonac Yakubu, appreciated the NAF for the kind gesture and promised to partner with the Service to ensure a successful outing.
“Despite the fact that we are bereaved, we were very excited when we heard that the NAF was organizing a medical outreach in Zonkwa.
“We are very delighted. I want to say thank you so much for seeing through our plight and coming to commiserate with us and also to take care of our sick and displaced people.
“Our joy knows no bound and we pray that this heart of kindness and concern is just the beginning of what we would see the NAF doing in our midst”, he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the Medical Team, who is also the Chief of Medical Services NAF, Air Commodore Gideon Bako, while commiserating with the IDPs said the CAS was very passionate about humanitarian activities and had shown immense concern for the plight of the people affected by the recent banditry attacks in the area. He noted that the NAF would do everything within its power to bring succour to the people and calm the restiveness to enable the people of the Community continue with their daily businesses.
“We are going to have 6 days of medical outreach, that would be conducted in 2 phases.
“Three days will be done here at the Mercy IDP Camp, while the remaining 3 days will be at Mariri IDP Camp in Lere LGA”, he added.
He therefore solicited the cooperation of the people for the successful conduct of the medical outreach.
In their separate messages, the Agwam Bajju, His Royal Highness Mallam Nuhu Bature, represented by Ogwatia Stephen Akut, and the Agwam Atyap, represented by Mr Biliock Waje, appreciated the CAS and the entire NAF family for the medical outreach.
Members of the Community, who turned out in their large numbers, were also full of appreciation to the NAF for its continued support in the provision of security and free medical services to the people of the LGA.
The flag-off ceremony was witnessed by the Coordinator of the Mercy IDP Camp, Reverend Gambo Waziri; the NAF Director of Public Health and Humanitarian Services, Group Captain Ali Tanko, who was part of the Medical Team, as well as the Deputy Director, Civil-Military Relations, Headquarters NAF, Group Captain Musa Aileru, amongst others.