NAF Commissions Healthcare Facilities in Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) places a high premium on meeting the healthcare needs of its personnel and their families, to enable and motivate them for effective service delivery. In line with this consideration, the NAF today, 30 May 2019, commissioned new healthcare facilities at the 063 NAF Hospital (063 NAFH), Abuja. The facilities include a newly constructed Officers’ Ward, Accident and Emergency Unit as well as newly remodelled Laboratory and Operating Theatre. The facilities, which are fitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment, were named after some retired officers in recognition of their contributions to the enhancement of NAF Medical Services.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that the increasing involvement of the NAF in the fight against terrorism, armed banditry and other national security challenges had necessitated an upgrade of the healthcare delivery system to make it more robust in meeting the needs of the Service as well as the expectations of personnel and their family members. Accordingly, he disclosed that the NAF, over the last 4 years, had made huge investments in human capital development as well as the infrastructure and equipment holding of the Medical Services. He noted for instance that the Aviation Medicine Wing and Electronic Medical Record System, which were commissioned at the 063 NAFH earlier in the year, were already impacting positively on service delivery in the Hospital. According to him, today’s commissioning was another demonstration of the resolve of the current NAF leadership to ensure the provision of quality healthcare services to NAF personnel and their families. Besides, the CAS noted that, with the upgraded facilities, 063 NAFH, being the only hospital near the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, was now better equipped to handle any emergencies that could arise from flight operations.
Speaking further, the CAS said the NAF had enlisted and commissioned 56 doctors, including 10 consultants, in the last 4 years. He added that another 10 doctors were undergoing Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC) officers’ training in Kaduna to further boost the strength of medical officers in the NAF. Air Marshal Abubakar also disclosed that in furtherance of its commitment to the improvement of healthcare services, the NAF would soon commission a new Reference Hospital in Daura, Katsina State to meet the needs of personnel and host communities in the Northwest Geopolitical Zone, while another Reference Hospital would be established in Enugu, before the end of the year, to cover the Southeast Zone. He remarked that the decision to name the projects after retired colleagues was informed by the desire of the Service to appreciate and acknowledge their contributions to NAF Medical Services.
While thanking the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unwavering support to the NAF over the last 4 years, the CAS tasked the Medical Services Branch to come up with comprehensive capacity building strategies that would equip it’s personnel with the required skills to utilize and effectively maintain the facilities. “The availability of these facilities would enable the Hospital to respond to trauma and emergencies more efficiently and effectively. I am aware of the need for a modern radio diagnostic facility in the Hospital and efforts are ongoing to provide a radio diagnostic department which will be equipped with diagnostic tools”, he said. He commended the Chief of Medical Services (CMS), Air Commodore Mohammed Shaibu, and the Commander 063 NAFH for working hard to ensure completion of the projects.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the CMS stated that, as part of strategies to actualize the CAS’ vision, the healthcare delivery system in the NAF was reformed and reinvigorated not only to support NAF operations but also to ensure the availability of quality healthcare to NAF personnel and their families. According to him, “In the last 4 years, under the leadership of the present CAS, the NAF undertook massive upgrade of her medical facilities, provided numerous medical equipment including MRIs, CT Scans and Dialysis machines. In addition, many medical personnel were enlisted and recruited into the Service, while trainings were conducted both locally and abroad”, he said. While thanking the CAS for his uncommon commitment, passion and interest in the medical services of the NAF, the CMS stated that the commissioning underscores the importance the CAS attaches to the health and well-being of NAF personnel and families.
The new Laboratory, which would add speed and accuracy to sample assessments, is supported by a 10KVA backup inverter system for uninterrupted power supply, while the remodelled Theatre allows for the conduct of simultaneous surgeries, if required, and is equipped with latest versions of machines for better patient monitoring and outcome, in addition to a dedicated generator. The well-equipped Accident and Emergency Department has 3 consulting rooms, 2 private observation rooms, an open 7-bed ward, a theatre and recovery rooms, a large triage area to sort out mass casualties as well as a patient observation area. The retired senior officers who the commissioned projects were named after are, Air Commodores Biodun Abolarinwa and Habiba Garba, Group Captain Dorothy Obonna as well as Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Dauda Philip. It may be recalled that Flt Lt Philip, a retired medical officer who was paralyzed due to a road traffic accident on 13 September 2008, was recently provided with a specialized, motorized wheelchair by the NAF.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force