The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has converted the Accident and Emergency Unit at the 063 NAF Hospital (NAFH) in Abuja to a COVID-19 Management Centre. The well-equipped Accident and Emergency Unit, which was constructed and commissioned in 2019 by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has been further upgraded with necessary medical equipment as part of facilities designated in the Armed Forces COVID-19 Response Team’s contribution to the National Response. The NAF, in addition, has also equipped and put on standby the newly-built 100-bunk Students’ Hostel at the Air Force Girls’ Comprehensive School (AFGCS) Abuja as an additional Management Centre, in the event of an upsurge in cases.
Speaking shortly after inspecting the 2 facilities today, 19 June 2020, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, lauded the NAF’s leadership for converting and donating such superb facilities as part of its contribution to the Armed Forces Response Team’s plan, noting that the gesture would go a long way towards improving the overall effectiveness of the National Response to the Pandemic. The Minister also acknowledged and thanked the NAF for the recent donation of additional 30 cylinders of liquid oxygen to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, disclosing that part of the oxygen had been deployed at the Asokoro Management Centre. He however used the occasion to solicit for the provision of additional quantity of oxygen from the NAF due to the high demand, especially at the Lagos Management Centres.
Speaking further, Dr Ehanire, while describing the NAF as a strategic establishment, praised the Service for sustaining the production of clinical oxygen from its Liquid Oxygen Plant in Yola and equally commended the recent reconfiguration of a C-130H aircraft to serve as an air ambulance for Aeromedical Evacuation, whenever the need arises. He concluded by appreciating the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) for their responsiveness in providing necessary support to deal with the COVID-19 Emergency.
On his part, the Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), who was represented by the Director of Health Services, Mrs Akinlade Oluwatoyin, expressed the readiness of the MOD to partner with the National Emergency Response Team in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic which, he noted, informed the decision to emplace proactive measures to curb its spread in the Armed Forces. The Minister also commended the CAS for making the facilities available in sufficient time as well as with adequate equipment to meet the required standards of a COVID-19 Management Centre.
Also present at the occasion were the Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Major General Leo Irabor, who represented the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; the NAF Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, who represented the CAS, as well as other dignitaries from the 2 Ministries, the AFN and allied Parastatals.