The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has approved the treatment abroad of 7 wounded soldiers in the northeast counterinsurgency operations against terror group Boko Haram.
The was disclosed by the Acting Chief Medical Officer of 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Yaba, Lagos, Brigadier General Adekola Dada, who explained that the welfare of soldiers fighting in Nigeria’s northeast is important to the authorities of the force.
He said that all personnel of the Nigerian Army wounded in the fight against Boko Haram in the northeast requiring treatment abroad will be quickly flown to India, Egypt or the United Kingdom to be properly treated.
He spoke while conducting journalist around the remodeled Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Yaba, explaining that the casualty figures from the fight in the northeast is dropping and that it was an indication that the Nigerian Army personnel are turning the tide against the insurgents.
In the past, he noted, casualty figures were in the neighbourhood of the 100s, but “today you can see that the figure has thinned down and here you can see just one person has a wound, and he was not wounded in battle but fractured the right tibia while training in Bunu Yadi, Yobe State.”
General Dada, addressing journalists alongside Chief of Staff of the 81 Division Brigadier General Hamisu Hassan, said that the seven soldiers being prepared for referral in India were wounded in battle but are relatively stable, but will still be medically evacuated to that country to clear some issues that have arisen in regard their health.
He said that Army authorities had recently embarked on a remodeling and reconstruction of the 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Lagos and the 44 NARH in Kaduna to ensure that they get the necessary equipment and atmosphere conducive for the treatment of personnel in future.
He said that two phases of the process in the remodeling of the hospital have been completed by the authorities, and that the third phase would soon commence with the remodeling of the administrative block.
Dada refuted an online report by an anonymous army captain who accused the Nigerian Army of neglect after he was injured in Maiduguri in 2014.
“It beats my imagination that someone could put up such kind of allegation. As long as I can remember, every single personnel wounded in action have been taken care of. Sometimes, there are thousands of dollars involved in each person’s treatment. There are soldiers who were wounded whose cost of treatment runs into 25 to 40 thousand Dollars. If you compute that, then you will know the cost is enormous. If you combine that with the fact that any personnel who is going for medical treatment abroad must be accompanied with a medical escort who will also be taken care of by the system. Then you know how much is been done by the COAS. Of course, you know that there is nothing you will do that you won’t find people who are not satisfied. If someone has an issue, he should be able to come out. tell his name and state his issue not hide under an anonymous person and writing what is not true.” he said.
He also maintained that for every wounded personnel and depending on the degree of the injury, there was a process to be followed especially when there was a need to be flown out for the Country.