- Promises troops, families improved healthcare delivery
The Ministry of Defence has established a health emergency unit called Defence Outbreak Response Unit.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ibrahim Kana, the unit will act as the Nigerian Military Task Force that will liaise with the African Partners Outbreak Alliance to tackle epidemics within the African continent.
The Director of Press, Victoria-Agba Attah, on Monday, said Kana stated this during the opening ceremony of the Site Commanders/Team Leaders meeting in Abuja.
He also promised the Federal Government planned to provide improved healthcare to troops and their families.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the Nigerian Ministry of Defence Health Implementation Programme and US Army Medical Research Directorate-Africa/Nigeria are working out modalities for HIV prevention, care, and treatment, including providing support services to military personnel, their families, and civilians living within and around the barracks.
It read, “The programme is making huge commitments to prevention, detection, and control of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. This requires the building of broad local and international collaborations as well as the strengthening of existing, coordinating mechanisms to achieve a higher and more timely impact.
“In this light, the Ministry of Defence has approved the setting up of Defence Outbreak Response Unit to act as the Nigerian Military Task Force that will liaise with the African Partners Outbreak Alliance to tackle epidemic within the African continent”.
The Permanent Secretary noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United States Government’s contributions towards the goals of the programme are responsible for great strides that have made the partnership a model worthy of emulation.
The Director-General, Ministry of Defence Health Implementation Programme, Brig. Gen. N Okeji (retd.), explained that the programme was established 18 years ago with the primary aim of curtailing the scourge of HIV/AIDS among troops, their families, and civilians living in communities neighbouring the military barracks.
He added that it had grown from the initial four military health facilities to the current 34 programme sites, with additional responsibilities to handle emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.