Gwagwalada - The Nigerian Army on Wednesday offered free medical services to residents of Dukpa, a community in Gwagwalada in the FCT, to commemorate its 2013 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL).
Brig. -Gen. Etido Ekpo, the Chairman of the Medical sub-Committee on NADCEL 2013, said the army was in the community to help the resident with free medical tests, treatments, drugs, treatment and advice where necessary.
Ekpo said that the free medical service was to show that the Nigerian Army cared for Nigerian citizens.
"One of the skills of the Nigerian Army is our potential to provide medical services.
"That is why you see that anywhere we have a unit, there is a medical unit that extends medical facilities and services to people around us.''
He said that the outreach include test for blood pressure, sugar level, eye tests and other common ailments such as malaria and fever.
Declaring open the medical outreach, Gift Ihejirika, the National President of the Nigeria Army Officers’ Wives (NAOWA), advised the residents to make use of the opportunity offered by the army to improve their health.
"The medical team we have here today is made up of consultants and health experts in all fields.’’
She said the army authorities had chosen Gwagwalada as a focal point for this year's medical outreach to complement government and non-governmental health programmes in the community.
"According to a popular saying `health is wealth’. It is in recognition of this fact that a medical outreach programme is enshrined in the Nigerian Army Day Celebration every year.
"Each day several work hours are lost due to breakdown to different kinds of illness. The effect of this on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product cannot be over emphasised."
Ihejirika, who is the wife of the Chief of Army Staff, stressed that the Nigerian Army took its medical outreach programme with all seriousness.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that medical items such as drugs, eye glasses and contraceptives were given to the residents.
The free medical service was also extended to prison officers and inmates of the Gwagwalada Prison.
Chinelo Nwufo, a teacher and resident of the community commended the army for the free medical service to the community.
Nwufo, however, advised the army authorities to sustain the programme, saying it had helped many people to access free medical service, especially those who could not afford the cost.