By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
The Nigerian Army on Tuesday officially took over a Physical Rehabilitation Centre constructed in 2018 and an added extension by the German Government for the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.
The centre according to German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Birgitt Ory, who was represented at the handing over ceremony by Colonel Jens Gliemann, German Technical Advisory Training Group, the centre was completed under the auspices of the ‘Equipment Aid Programme’ of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
He said Germany is partneringwith selected countries in Africa through the programme to improve peace and security on the continent.
“losing a limb is a grave injury and traumatic experience for soldiers and civilians alike. Receiving a prothesis can be a life-changing experience. So this is also a good example and opportunity of confidence buildingbetween the armed forces and the civilian population.
“Prosthetic care is, of course, a very specialized medical field that requires elaborate skill and training. Accordingly, this program will enable multiple Nigerian medical technicians to be trained in Germany to become prosthetic specialists. In fact, this is what sustainable cooperation is all about: generating knowledge where it is needed and ensuring local ownership.
“The Equipment Aid Programme has created avery meaningful impact and the German Government seeks to continue the programme in the future. For Germany, this programme is a valuable form of cooperation with key partners to enhance mutual securityinterests.” The Ambassador said.
In his remarks delivered by the Director, Health Services in the Defence Ministry, Dr. Olajide Johnson, Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), who expressed gratitude to the German government on behalf the the Nigeria President, assured Nigeria’s commitment to ensure that the state of the art equipment provided in the clinic and other equipment/facilities provided elsewhere, will be judiciously utilized for the benefit of all Nigerians and humanity in general.
“I wish to also reassure you of our utmost desire to sustain this very important collaboration between our armed forces. It would be recalled that the German Government through the GTAG earlier established this Rehabilitation Clinic and handed it over to Nigeria in 2019 as part of German support to our war efforts against insurgency.
“Within the short time of its operation and for the fact that the clinic is the only one of its kind with state of the art medical equipment in Nigeria, it attracted an overwhelming patronage across the country. Consequently, there was an urgent need for its expansion. For this reason, the GTAG initiated the expansion of the clinic to accommodate the large turnout of patients.” He added.
On his part, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, who was represented by Maj-Gen Joel olugbe, said the project which was part of existing bilateral relationship between the Federal Republic ofbNigeria and the Federal Republic of Germany which was signed in Abuja in 2012, could not have come at a better time considering the compelling need for adequatemedical support for troops survival in Nigeria’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts. Saying, “there is no doubt that this project would undoubtedly, improve the overall wel-being of troops and their families.”
Chief Of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, who was also represented the General Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen Usman Muhammad, noted that the project was commissioned on 3 Dec 2019 with the capacity to meet contemporary healthcare needs of not only the Nigerian Army but also to serve as a Regional Reference Facility in the UN Level IV Category.
“The Rehabilitation Centre has therefore inched us closer to this goal and will definitely improve our capacity towards addressing both the health care needs of Nigerian Army Personnel as well as the larger society. It is also gratifying to state that both the intensive care unit and the surgical theatres in the hospital are at the verge of completion. I therefore look forward to visiting Kaduna again to launch the projects upon theircompletion.” He said.