By Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has extended its medical outreach programme to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the Bakassi Peninsula.
The 4-day medical outreach designed to address the healthcare needs of the displaced Nigerians is targeted at over 4,000 returnees located at the Ikot-Effiom and Ekpri-Obutong IDP camps in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross-River State.
Moved by the plights of the IDPs, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar directed the NAF Medical Services to conduct a medical outreach in the two camps especially for women and children in order to attend to their healthcare needs.
The first phase of the outreach programme, which was conducted between 8-9 August 2017, at the Ikot-Effiom witnessed the provision of healthcare services to about 1,500 IDPs in the camp in addition to indigenes of the host community who trooped out in large numbers to benefit from the NAF humanitarian services.
The people were offered a wide range of free medical tests and treatment for malaria and blood pressure in addition to fasting, random sugar level and eye tests. Other medical checks carried out on the IDPs included those for various diseases and infections while treatment and drugs were administered freely to the patients. Also, treated mosquito nets were distributed to women and children. Those with complicated medical cases were referred to the NAF medical facilities in Calabar for secondary healthcare management.
Meanwhile, the NAF 305 Special Mobility Group in Calabar is also involved in the Joint Internal Security Operations in Cross-River State, codenamed “Operation Skolombo” with a mandate to checkmate criminality including the protection of the IDPs.
It is also worthy of note that the NAF has been in the forefront of providing free medical cares for IDPs and host communities of NAF Units across the nation as part of its corporate social responsibilities, notably in the North East, South-West, South-East and now the South-South.