By Emmanuel Uzodinma
As part of the activities to mark this year’s Army Day Celebration, the Nigerian Army, on Monday, commenced an extensive free medical services in four communities within the Enugu metropolis.
The annual exercise attracted hundreds of residents who are being attended to by medical doctors in different areas of specialization.
Apart from free diagnosis and treatment, the Army also presented several items to deserving residents.
These include wheel chairs, walking stick, medical eye glasses, treated nets, among others.
The benefiting communities include Nchatancha Nike, Obinagu Nike, Akpoga Nike and Mbulujodo Nike all within Enugu East Local Government Area of the State.
The medicare services included: free consultation and treatment, free dental checks and treatment, free eye checks and eye glasses, free wheel-chairs and crutches, and free distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets.
Flagging-off the exercise, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, said that the medical outreach was meant to cement the existing relationship between the Nigerian Army and civil populace.
Lagbaja, who was represented by the Chief of Staff of the Division, Brig.-Gen. Greg Omorogbe, said the exercise was part of activities lined up to commemorate the 158 anniversary (1863 – 2021) of the Nigerian Army.
He said that the Nigerian Army pays due attention to the security and health well-being of members of its host community, which encompasses all Area of Responsibility (AOR).
“Apart from being an exercise to herald our 158 anniversary, it will generally improve Civil-Military-Cooperation (CIMIC) meant to boost overall military-civil relations.
“The free and comprehensive healthcare as it targets all, but most especially the less privileged and indigents in these communities, would reduce the health burden of the beneficiaries and communities at large,’’ he said.
Responding, Chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area, Mr Alex Ugwu, appreciated the Nigerian Army for the great opportunity given to the people to access quality healthcare and other health consumables at no cost.
Ugwu, represented by his deputy, Mr Melitus Anike, said, “we are sincerely grateful to the Nigerian Army for the huge amount of money they had spent in putting this very elaborate medical outreach together.”
Also speaking, Igwe Gabriel Okoh, the Traditional Ruler of Mbulujodo Nike Community, thanked the Nigerian Army for bringing the free and comprehensive medical service to the doorsteps of his subjects as well as other neighbouring communities.
“We will continue to pray for the success of the Nigerian Army and for God’s guidance and protection as they defend both security-wise and health-wise,’’ Okoh said.
One of the beneficiaries of insecticide treated mosquito nets, Mrs Favour Akaji, thanked the Nigerian Army for the net and other medical consumables meant to protect her and her unborn baby.
“God will continue to bless the Nigerian Army and members of their families as they have decided to remember me and my unborn child today,’’ Akaji said.
A recipient of one of the free wheel chairs, Mr Micheal Nwoye, thanked the Nigerian Army for lifting from him the burden of buying a modern wheel-chair.
The exercise featured elaborate health counseling and how to prepare health diets from locally sourced condiments.