The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has inaugurated free medical outreach for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Bakassi with a target of rendering free medication to over 4,000 of the returnees.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who inaugurated the exercise on Thursday in Bakassi, Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River.
He said that the exercise was in line with the NAF humanitarian service for the people.
Abubakar, who was represented by Group Capt. Ali Tanko, said that the initiative was also to render free medical outreach to the returnees with a view of uplifting health standards in the camp.
The Air Marshal said NAF carried out a need assessment in the area and found out that it was important for the Air Force to render free medical service to the returnees, to alleviate their plight.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiaries were drawn from two camps in the area: Ikot Effiom and Ekpri-Obutong.
The Commander, 305 Special Mobility Group,NAF, Calabar, Wing Cdr. Ali Idris said, “We are going to render free medical outreach to those with eye problems,’’ he said.
He said the exercise would also benefit those with malaria and typhoid, diabetes, children in need of de-worming, hypertension among other medical conditions during the exercise.
“For those that will be identified for surgical operation as a secondary case, we will pick their names and come back later to connect them to a health facility for proper surgery.
“We have done similar exercises in most states across the country.
‘’We are going to be here for four days and we hope to deliver free medication to over 4,000 of the IDPs and the villagers who may come around,’’ he said.
Idris expressed optimism that the team would achieve positive result at the end of the exercise, adding that over 300 special eye glasses would be given out to those with eye problems.
According to him, the NAF is committed to rendering humanitarian services to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and others with a view to improving their healthy living.
“This humanitarian service has taken place in other states across the country. The drugs and everything that will be distributed here today is free,’’ he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Peter Okon, 69, who received eye glasses, commended the NAF for its magnanimity, adding that he went for the glasses because he was unable to read tiny print.
Mrs Theresa Oku, a mother whose child was tested and given free malaria drugs and treated mosquito net, described the NAF gesture as `rare and humanitarian’.
“This free medical outreach we are receiving today is very rare. I thank the NAF for choosing us to benefit from this humanitarian gesture,’’ she said.
Mr Moses Asuquo, leader of both camps, who also lauded the free medical outreach, called on other organisations to emulate the Air Force in alleviating the plight of the IDPs. (NAN)