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NAF graduates first set from medical school

Nigerian Air Force (NAF) School of Medical Science and Aviation Medicine has graduated 18 Medical Laboratory and Pharmacy Technicians.

The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the 18 students were the first set to graduate from the school.

They include 13 medical laboratory technicians and five pharmacy technicians.

NAN further reports that the event was held on Thursday at the school located in NAF Base Kaduna.

The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Air Training Command Kaduna, AVM Muhammad Sulaiman, who was the special guest of honour, described the event as a major milestone in the march towards attaining the great potentials of the institution.

He said that the establishment of the school was to consolidate the rapid expansion and upgrading of the medical services branch of the Nigerian Air Force.

“It is expected that the school will through its training enhance the human capacity of the NAF medical services to meet contemporary challenges.

“I have been told that College of Nursing of this School will soon secure accreditation and commence the training of nurses.

“I have no doubt that very soon the other colleges will follow suit.

“All of these are in line with one of the key drivers of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar’s vision of human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance.”

The Commandant said that the graduation was a joint one being held for students of A2 to A1 Pharmacy Technicians and Medical Laboratory Technicians upgrading Courses.

“You have all worked hard and deserve to celebrate. I dare say that you are also very lucky to be the first set of medical personnel to undergo upgrading course within a Nigerian Air Force institution.

“To the graduating personnel, I sincerely hope, trust and believe that the knowledge, skills and attitude you acquired here have adequately equipped you for the challenges you are sure to face in your career,’’ he said.

Sulaiman, therefore, charged them to be innovative in applying what  they learnt.

He added: “you must all ensure that you are properly grounded in the tenets of your trades.

“Accordingly, the Nigerian Air Force would not accept anything less than the standard already established in terms of loyalty, discipline and performance.

“As medical personnel, I urge you all that as you return to your respective units, let your colleagues and patients see and feel the positive impact of this training on you.”

He implored the graduates to remain focused as they strive to fully develop their potentials in the areas where they have excelled.

“The Nigerian Air Force expects you to always remain highly proficient to effectively and efficiently discharge your assigned duties,’’ he said.

The AOC reminded the graduates that discipline is the bedrock of any fighting force, without which, there can be no control, cohesion and team work.

Earlier, Chief of Medical Service, Air Cdr Gedion Bako, said the school is the flagship of the commitment of the present Chief of the Air Staff towards enhancing personnel welfare through provision of quality healthcare.

Bako was represented by Group Captain David Babalola, Director, Professional Allied Medicine.

Bako said under the present Air Chief, the then Directorate of Medical Services of NAF was upgraded to branch status while three new reference hospitals and many medical centres equipped with modern diagnostic and therapeutic facilities were provided.

“These equipment include MRIs, CT scans, surgical theatres, dental chairs, x-ray and laboratory machines, among others.

“It is hoped that this school would provide appropriate manpower to operate the upgraded and expanding medical services of the Nigerian Air Force.

“The school would also provide the forum to drive the reorientation and attitudinal change of our medical personnel towards service delivery,’’ he said.

Also, the acting Commandant of the School, Group Captain Chukwuma Ohanele, disclosed that the school was established in 2016 to train the manpower required to operate the expanding medical services of the NAF.

Ohanele said in the past few years, a lot has been achieved towards the full takeoff of the School.

“These include provision of infrastructure, training of instructors and liaison with relevant agencies necessary for the provision of quality education.

“These efforts paid off with the recent visit of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria to the School and subsequent granting of provisional accreditation to the School’s College of Nursing.

“The School is therefore, poised to commence admission of student nurses this year,’’ Ohanele said.

He said that the graduates constituted the first set of personnel to be trained by the school and awarded certificates that would impact on their career progression in the NAF.

“This is very significant because this is the first time upgrading courses were conducted for any medical specialty in the NAF,’’ he said.

He added that conscious of this fact, the training of the students was not only to position them for upgrading but also impart knowledge and positive attitude to enhance their performance on the field. (NAN)

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