In an effort to enhance the human capacity of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Medical Services to meet contemporary challenges and consolidate the rapid expansion of the NAF Medical Services Branch, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, established the NAF School of Medical Sciences and Aviation Medicine (NAFSMS & AM). The School, which commenced training of personnel of the NAF Medical Specialty on 10 June 2019, conducted its maiden graduation ceremony for Upgrading Courses for Medical Laboratory as well as Pharmacy Technicians yesterday, 4 July 2019, at the School premises in NAF Base Kaduna.
Speaking at the occasion, the Guest of Honour (GOH), Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Zubair Suleiman, the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command, said the occasion was a major milestone in the march towards actualising the great potentials of the Institution. He stated that, at the pace which the school was going, he anticipated that other Colleges of the School would soon come on stream. The GOH charged the 18 graduating students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the course to effectively contend with future challenges in their chosen career. He enjoined them to strive to fully develop their potentials in order to make positive impact in their respective units whilst encouraging them to uphold the high standard of discipline that the NAF is known for.
In his remarks, the Acting Chief of Medical Sciences, Air Commodore Gideon Bako, who was represented by the Director Professions Allied to Medicine, Group Captain David Babalola, revealed that the School is the flagship of the commitment of the present CAS towards enhancing personnel welfare through provision of quality healthcare. He recalled that it was under the present CAS that the then Directorate of Medical Services was upgraded to branch status and 3 new reference hospitals as well as many new medical centres were built and fitted with the state-of-the-art equipment. He pledged that the School would provide the forum to drive the reorientation and attitudinal change of NAF medical personnel towards patient-focused service delivery.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Acting Commandant of the School, Group Captain Chukwuma Ohanele, said the establishment of the School had resulted in the provision of infrastructure, training of instructors and liaison with relevant agencies necessary for the provision of quality education. He said the School would soon commence admission of student nurses following the visit of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria to the School and subsequent grant of provisional accreditation to the College of Nursing. He disclosed that the 18 pioneer graduating students comprised 13 medical laboratory technicians and 5 pharmacy technicians.
Awards were presented to students that distinguished themselves on the course, with Corporal Ekanem Uduak taking the award for emerging best-all-round in the Pharmacy Technicians’ Course and Sergeant Lander Tal the award for finishing best overall in the Medical Laboratory Technicians’ Course.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force