The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) today flagged-off personnel voluntary contribution to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North East. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Mshl Sadique Abubakar mooted the idea some months ago. While addressing NAF commanders and departmental heads, the CAS had encouraged them to identify with the efforts by the Federal Government and other stakeholders as individuals to alleviate the plights of the IDPs.
This message was later passed down to personnel in the units in order to get both officers and men to give voluntarily to the course of IDPs.
Indeed, the flag-off ceremony in Abuja was a huge success as various items such as cash donations, clothing and food items, and other domestic items donated by individuals were pooled together and brought to NAF Headquarters for donation to IDPs.
Similar donations to be collected in other units would be forwarded to major NAF locations for transfer to HQ NAF. Eventually, the NAF plans to hand over the items to the IDPs through a reputable non-governmental organisation (NGO).
The launching of the Personnel Voluntary Contribution marks another dimension to the NAF humanitarian activities in the North East. Previous efforts include the establishment of Level-2 hospitals in Dalori and Bama to provide healthcare delivery to IDPs. So far, over 22,000 and 2,000 persons have accessed healthcare in the NAF Emergency Hospitals in Dalori and Bama respectively.
Additionally, over the past 15 months, the NAF has carried out medical outreach in all IDP camps in Abuja, Yola and Maiduguri. Furthermore, about 220 patients have benefited from surgery provided by NAF hospitals.
A number of IDPs have regained their sights as a result of the surgery. As part of its humanitarian support to IDPs, the NAF also assisted in upgrading the hospital at Maikohi in Yola by equipping the wards and maternity, as well as with the clinic renovation. Other efforts by the NAF include provision of amenities such as solar powered boreholes, tent accommodation and toilet facilities for IDPs at Dalori. There is also provision of aero medical evacuation for IDPs and others liberated by surface forces from the clutch of Boko Haram insurgents.