In furtherance of efforts to enhance civil-military relations, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has flagged off a 2-day free medical outreach and cancer screening for the people of Ipetu-Ijesha in Oriade Local Government Area (LGA) of Osun State. The free medical outreach and cancer screening, which commenced today, 25 November 2020, also coincided with the commemoration of the World Cancer Day. Apart from providing free cancer awareness lecture/screening for interested participants, the medical outreach, which is an initiative of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, would also offer free comprehensive healthcare services such as medical consultation, medical laboratory tests, visual acuity checks and provision of prescription eyeglasses, dental care, de-worming of children, free medications, including anti-malaria as well as provision of free insecticide-treated mosquito nets, amongst others.
Speaking during the flag-off ceremony, the Special Guest of Honour (SGOH), the Executive Governor of Osun State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by Osun State Commissioner of Health, Dr Rafiu Olasukanmi Isamotu, stated that the cancer screening and medical outreach were evidences of the remarkable strides that the NAF continues to make in winning the hearts and minds of their host communities around the Country. He noted further that the medical outreach was intended to provide quality and comprehensive medical care for over 3,000 persons. He therefore urged the host communities to avail themselves of the opportunity to meet their healthcare needs. He also pleaded with them to cooperate with the NAF Medical Team to ensure that the exercise is conducted in an orderly manner to achieve huge success. The Governor assured that the Osun State Government, on its part, would continue to provide necessary support for the NAF’s operations in the State.
Governor Oyetola expressed appreciation to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his support towards enhancing the operational readiness and welfare of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in spite of the current economic realities in the Country. He also commended the visionary leadership, diligence, determination and dedication of the CAS in the discharge of his duties, which he described as exemplary. The Governor added that the aspiration of the CAS to make the NAF the best in Africa was already yielding the desired dividends.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Special Operations Command (SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo, whilst reiterating that the task of Nation building was a collective responsibility, stated that the NAF, under the leadership of Air Marshal Abubakar, has continued to prioritize the provision of qualitative healthcare and other humanitarian services to its host communities and Internally Displaced Persons across the country.
During the first day of the Outreach, lectures were delivered on Prostrate Cancer and Cervical Cancer by Guest Lecturers, Professor Abdulkadir Salako and Dr Akinfolarin Adepiti, respectively, while Cervical and Prostate Cancer screening was conducted for about 350 adult members of the community, simultaneous with the general medical services to other community members.
Expressing his delight, His Royal Majesty Oba (Dr) Samson Adeleke Agunbiade Oke, Agunbiade the III, Ajalaye of Ipetu Ijesha, appreciated the leadership of the NAF for bringing such humanitarian and medical services to the people of the community. He also thanked the Service for its immense contributions in ensuring security in Ipetu-Ijesha.
One of the beneficiaries of the medical outreach, Mr Olatumise Olawale, thanked the NAF for coming to their aid at a time the Country was experiencing economic downturn. He disclosed that he was one of the beneficiaries who had received free prescription eyeglasses as well as medications for high blood pressure. Other members of the community also expressed their joy for benefitting tremendously from the first day of the medical outreach.
Also present at the flag-off ceremony were the members Representing Oriade and Ilesha West State Constituencies, Honourables Desmond Ojo and Wale Adedoyin, as well as traditional rulers and community leaders along with the Commander 209 Quick Response Group Ipetu-Ijesha and other senior NAF Officers.