By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
As part of efforts to boost civil-military relationship, the Nigeria Army has organised a free medical outreach for the people of NDE ward ,Ikom local government area, cross River state.
The medical outreach held at Presbyterian primary school Mgbaka, Afi, Ikom, attracted beneficiaries from the over sixteen villages of Nde and neighboring communities who where tested an treated of various illments.
People who were tested positive of eye problem s were given eye glasses and eye drops while those with malaria and typhoid were also treated. Patients with the diabetes, hypertension, surgical challenge s and HIV were referred to teaching hospital calabar, General hospital Ogoja and the Army clinic Afi Barracks for close monitoring and followup.
Speaking in an address, the commander of the 13 Brigade Calabar, Brigadier General O.T Olatoye said the Nigeria army supports the social responsibility initiative like other professions which provides a platform to give back to the society. Brigadier General Olatoye noted they the medical outreach is one of the programmes anchored by the army through the crocodile smile operations.
He said the program had taken place in Bakassi local Government Area for the people of the Cross River south while it will be replicated in Ogoja for those in cross River North.
Brigadier Olatoye reasoned that the coming together of the communities for the medical outreach could foster peace coexistence with the military, maintaining that crisis and misunderstanding was inevitable, stressing that the way to handle such crisis is cardinal to peace and societal development.
He said that the Nigeria army would continue to do its best to protect the Nation territorial integrity at all times. Earlier in a remark, the commanding officer 245 Recce Battalion Afi barracks, colonel AJS Gulani, commended the host community of Mgbaka-Afi for their cooperation and urged them to make use of the medical intervention on their health challenges.
Flagging off the programme the head of local government Ikom, Mr. Julius Adie, commended the Army for diversifying into medical outreach programmes and called for sustainability.
Mr. Adi advised the people of Ikom to relay any useful information to the security operative that could help them performed their job.
In a vote thanks, the clan head of Nde, his Royal highness Ntun Bassey Nsa thanked the Nigerian army for the medical outreach and appeal for the enrollment of their indigenes into the force.
In an interview, some of the beneficiaries including Nancy Ndoma, Ayahanbem Ayahanbem and the village head of Mgbaka, Ntun Gregory Ekawu described the programme as remarkable in the history of the army and called for more collaborative programmes.
The head of the medical team, lieutenant colonel Christopher Ikonwa advised people to use mosquito treated nets, drink clean water and visit hospital regularly to check their health status to avoid complications.