From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Nigerian Army on Monday offered free medical services to the residents of Irepene and Idodenge communities in Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Maj. Gen. Bamidele Ogunkale, the Commander, Command Army Records (CARs), while monitoring the exercise at Irepene, told journalists that the gesture was part of activities for the ongoing Field Training Exercise, tagged ”EX AYEM AKPATUMA ll”, in the state.
Ogunkale commended the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, for the initiative and for giving the needed support since the exercise began on Nov. 1, saying the military had recorded an appreciable success.
The commander, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, CARs, Brig. Gen. Ayobambo Orukotan, said that the medical service was a civil- military cooperation to assist the residents of the neighbouring communities where the military Super Camps were sited.
”In that spirit, the Nigerian Army Women’s Corps (NAWC) were sent down here to participate in the exercise in collaboration with CARs to offer free medical treatment and give free drugs to patients,” he said
The commander noted that the exercise ”Ayem Akpatuma Il” had recorded a huge success, noting that the military were able to flush out criminals from their hideouts and rid some areas of bandits across Kogi.
He added that the military had also helped to curtail violence during the last Saturday election, while reaffirming the determination of the military to curtail and reduce criminality to the barest minimum in the state.
Also speaking, Lt. Col. Suzan Dibal, the Coordinator, Women Special Operations Battalion, NAWC, Giri, said the women corps were collaborating with headquarters CARs for civil-military relations to offer free medical treatment to people.
”We have to say thank you to our peculiar father, the COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who had built women corps and for making women what they are today in the Army.
”The women corps are here to support the medical outreach for the vulnerable women and children including men,” she said.
Dibal also thanked the Commander CARs for making it possible for the NAWC to work together to have the medical outreach.
On his part, the Medical Officer, CARs, Capt. Nurudeen Saka, said doctors were on ground to check blood pressure, random blood sugar for diabetes, immunisation for children,
He noted those that could be treated there would be counselled appropriately to go the nearest hospital or come down to the military hospital for treatment.
”We are also giving out free drugs to the elderly; immunization and vitamin supplements to the children and give treated mosquito net to pregnant women and drugs,” Saka said.
He, however noted that the commonest ailments among the residents were malaria and malnutrition, adding that the pregnant women also lacked antenatal care.
Mr Hamzat Shaibu, the Community Leader, thanked the Nigerian Army for coming to their community to offer free medical treatment and free drugs, and pray God to continually protect them in their duty.
A physically challenged mother, Mrs Ife Azeez, whose child was diagnosed of a chronic jaundice, thanked the army for promising to take the child for treatment.
Another beneficiary, Mr Adebayo Shaibu, thanked the army for the gesture, saying he was treated of waist pain and given free drugs.
The residents of Irepene and some neigbhouring communities, trooped out in their large numbers to benefit from the free medical services.
Our Correspondent reports that the exercise AYEM AKPATUM II is being conducted simultaneously in North Central States such as: Kogi, Taraba, Nassarawa, Niger and Benue States from Nov. 1 to Dec. 23.