By Lazarus Zakaa, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), in another humanitarian gesture geared towards ameliorating the hardship faced by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in some parts of Sokoto State due to recent attacks by armed bandits, has extended free medical services to Isa Local Government Area (LGA) of the State.
The 3-day free healthcare services, which commenced yesterday, 30 June 2020, is coming barely 2 weeks after a similar exercise was conducted in Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State.
During the 3 days of the outreach, there will be free medical consultations, free medications, de-worming and immunization of children, donation of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, provision of eye glasses, health education on current and emerging diseases as well as distribution of face masks to the IDPs. Besides the free medical services, the IDPs were also given palliatives including food items, potable water, toiletries and footwear, amongst others.
While flagging off the event, the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Right Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was represented by the Sokoto State Director of Primary Health, Dr Shuaibu Gobir, expressed appreciation to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the NAF for choosing Isa LGA to conduct the free medical outreach and distribution of palliatives to the IDPs.
Similarly, the District Head of Isa, Alhaji Nasiru Suleiman Ahmed II, equally thanked the leadership of the NAF for the hands of fellowship.
He noted that the gesture would help his people to meet some of their basic needs because some of them were distressed and had no food to eat. He called on members of the community to come out en-masse and make judicious use of the items donated.
In his remarks, the NAF Director of Public Health and Humanitarian Services and Leader of the Medical Team, Group Captain Ali Tanko, stated that the provision of the free healthcare was directed by the CAS to cater for the medical needs of the people of the LGA who had been displaced by the activities of armed bandits.
He said the medical outreach was part of the NAF’s “winning hearts and minds” programmes aimed at further enhancing civil-military relations.
The visibly elated beneficiaries, who turned out in their large numbers, also expressed their gratitude to the NAF for the timely gesture which, they said, would further alleviate their sufferings.
Others in attendance during the flag-off ceremony were the Sole Administrator, Isa LGA, Alhaji Nasiru Muhammad; the Director Primary Healthcare, Isa LGA, Abdullahi Isiaka; the Commander 119 Composite Group, Group Captain Garuba Bello; as well as the Deputy Director, Directorate of Civil Military Relations, Headquarters NAF, Group Captain Musa Aileru, amongst others.