The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has carried out massive surgical operations to alleviate the medical challenges of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Borno State. The directive to carry out the 3-week medical intervention programme was given by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. According to the NAF Chief of Medical Services, Air Vice Marshal Saleh Shinkafi, a team of NAF medical professionals was immediately deployed to conduct a 2-day medical intervention on receipt of the directive from the CAS. The team discovered that most of the IDPs faced various medical challenges as a result of long periods of neglect and poor medical conditions in their living environments. Consequently, a comprehensive medical intervention programme, covering Dalori, Bama and Banki IDP camps, was undertaken.
A total of 420 IDPs were subsequently screened and most of them treated and operated for various medical conditions. For instance, 201 major operations to resolve varying medical challenges, were carried out successfully. In addition, a total of 82 eye surgeries were conducted comprising 77 cases of cataract, 4 cases of pterygium and one case of epilation. In addition, 61 cases of trachoma and 7 cases of allergic conjunctivitis were treated.
Likewise, a total of 26 patients were operated for herniorrhaphies, 15 for hydrocelectomies and 5 each for laparotomies and lipoma excision. The patients with very severe conditions were airlifted to the Field Theatre by NAF helicopters and nobody lost his life throughout the exercise. The medical intervention programme was entirely carried out by NAF medical personnel at no cost to the IDPs.
It would be recalled that the NAF had earlier reported on 9 July 2017 that the NAF had commenced a surgical intervention scheme for IDP camps at Bama, Dalori and Banki, all in Borno State. The surgical intervention scheme is complementary to other humanitarian intervention schemes being undertaken by the NAF to win the hearts and minds of the populace in the conflict areas.