Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has begun a two-day free medical outreach in Sandamu Local Government Area of Katsina State as part of the activities lined up for the commissioning of its Reference Hospital in Daura, the hometown of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday.
According to NAF, 25,000 residents of the local government would benefit from free eye surgeries, mass deworming of children, provision of medicated glasses and insecticide-treated mosquito nets, amongst other free medical services.
The NAF Director of Public Health and Humanitarian Service, Group Capt. Ali Tanko, said that the gesture was meant to tackle the healthcare challenges and alleviate the suffering of host communities of NAF Bases across the country.
According to him: “We were here before to find the total population of this community. And the community is made up of about 25,000. So, 25,000 residents of Sandamu community, including women, children and the aged would benefit from this free medical care.
“This free medical outreach is an initiative of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to assuage the sufferings of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the underprivileged communities. We have gone to virtually all the 36 States of the federation where we rendered same humanitarian services.”
Group Capt. Tanko explained that the outreach would enhance the relationship between the host community and the Nigerian Air Force and warned members of the community to shun acts capable of truncating the efforts of NAF and other security agencies to maintain peace in the country.
“The essence of the medical outreach is to foster cordial relationship between NAF and civilians, who are our host community, as well as to deliver our own corporate social responsibility to our host community,” Tanko explained.
In his response, the Transition Committee Chairman of Sandamu, Alhaji Sani Aliyu, commended the Chief of Air Staff for bringing the medical outreach, which he described as a timely humanitarian service, to the local government.
Aliyu also promised to create awareness among the rural dwellers in the area on the need to patronize the NAF Reference Hospital.
Similarly, the District Head of Sandamu, Alhaji Ya’u Sani Zakari, who was visibly overwhelmed by the kind gesture, prayed that God should give NAF the strength to continue in their good works of alleviating the plight of the masses.