By OKOSUN DENNIS
AS the 2016 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) has been rounded off across the country, the Onigbongbo community in Ikeja would continue to be grateful as they were offered free medical assistance by the Nigerian Army.
The exercise which took place at the Onigbongbo Town Hall at Ikeja-Lagos was conducted bymedical personnel of 9 Brigade, Ikeja cantonment under the command of Brig Gen S Mohammed.
About 250 people both young and old were examined and treated during the one-day free medical rhapsody. They were examined on high blood pressure, malaria and other medical needs and prescribed drugs were given to them free also.
Speaking with National Daily, the Medical officer, 9 Brigade, Dr Captain Benedict Aghahon, while giving the imperative of the free medical outreach said it was designed to commemorate NADCEL 2016, adding that it was customarily of the army to reach out to their immediate community medically.
“We are here for medical outreach in commemoration of NADCEL 2016. It is good for us because it brings our host community closer to us and the impact it has had on 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army is enormous.
Explaining the areas they tested people on, she added that “We gave them health talk on Human Immune Virus (HIV), blood pressure and those of them that are hypertensive, we counsel them and those that need follow-up, we asked them to come and see us at our hospital. In addition, we make drugs available to them and those treating malaria and those having respiratory tract infection.
“We are looking forward to taking care of between 250 300 people in this community. If we have any critical or emergency medical issue, we would stabilise them and we are well prepared for that with an ambulance.
Dr. Aghahon further explained that through such medical assistance, they have been to cement cordial relationship with the host community. “Everything is for free to mark NADCEL. If anybody is referred, we would ensure that such person is treated free, she explained.
She implored the host community and other Nigerians to remain peaceful and join in the fight against terrorism and other criminal elements in the country, stressing that even though they lost soldiers in the past civil war, right now, we are preaching peace.
“My advice to Nigerians is to continue to be peaceful; stay clear from bad influence that could change their thinking negatively in terms of terrorism and other criminal elements.
Nigerian army is always with them and any information that would be useful for the military; they should also be free to pass it across to us.
Expressing his appreciation to the Nigerian Army for deeming it imperative to fete host community with free medical assistance, Mallam Yakubu Yusuf, a beneficiary of the medical rhapsody said “what the army is doing today; reaching us medically and giving free drugs is good for our cooperate existence especially making it possible for the commoners to know their health status.
“I am happy because the army came voluntarily on their own to assist the community, gave free medical consultation, drugs and health talks to members of the community who could not afford medical fees in private and public hospitals, saying soldiers are more civilised nowadays than before”, Yusuf reiterated.
On her part, Mrs Adeyemi Akonji, a legatee of the free medical provision expressed her appreciation about the quality of the medical team, their reception and the quality of medical services and drugs dispensed.
“This is not the first time they are coming to this community and I like the way the army is reaching out to us through this free medical aid. It brings them closer to us than before. It helps us a great deal especially knowing our blood pressure level and given free drugs.