The Nigerian Army, on Tuesday officially took over a Physical Rehabilitation Centre and an added extension by the German Government for the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.
The facility, according to German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Birgitt Ory who was represented at the handing over ceremony by Colonel Jens Gliemann, German Technical Advisory Training Group, the centre was completed under the auspices of the ‘Equipment Aid Programme’ of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2018.
Jens further said that, his country was partnering with selected countries in Africa through the programme to improve peace and security on the continent.
To him, “losing a limb is a grave injury and traumatic experience for soldiers and civilians alike. Receiving a prosthesis can be a life-changing experience. So this is also a good example and opportunity of confidence-building between the armed forces and the civilian population.
“Prosthetic care is, of course, a very specialized medical field that requires elaborate skill and training. Accordingly, this program will enable multiple Nigerian medical technicians to be trained in Germany to become prosthetic specialists. In fact, this is what sustainable cooperation is all about: generating knowledge where it is needed and ensuring local ownership.
“The Equipment Aid Programme has created a
very meaningful impact and the German Government seeks to continue the programme in the future. For Germany, this programme is a valuable form of cooperation with key partners to enhance mutual security
interests”, he explained.
Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), who was represented by Director, Health Services, Dr Olajide Johnson, who expressed gratitude to the German government on behalf President Muhammadu Buhari, assured of Nigeria’s commitment to ensure that the state-of-the-art equipment provided in the clinic and other equipment/facilities provided elsewhere, would be judiciously utilized for the benefit of all Nigerians and humanity in general.
“I wish to also reassure you of our utmost desire to sustain this very important collaboration between our armed forces.
“Within the short time of its operation and for the fact that the clinic is the only one of its kind with state-of-the-art medical equipment in Nigeria, it attracted overwhelming patronage across the country. Consequently, there was an urgent need for its expansion. For this reason, the GTAG initiated the expansion of the clinic to accommodate the large turnout of patients”, he added.
On his part, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, who was represented by Maj-Gen Joel lube said, the project which was part of the existing bilateral relationship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal Republic of Germany, signed in Abuja in 2012, could not have come at a better time considering the compelling need for adequate
medical support for troops survival in Nigeria’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts saying, “there is no doubt that this project would undoubtedly, improve the overall well-being of troops and their families.”
Chief Of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, who was also represented by the General Officer Commanding, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen Usman Muhammad, noted that the project was commissioned on Dec 3, 2019 with the capacity to meet contemporary healthcare needs of not only the Nigerian Army but also to serve as a Regional Reference Facility in the UN Level IV Category.
“The Rehabilitation Centre has therefore inched us closer to this goal and will definitely improve our capacity towards addressing both the health care needs of Nigerian Army Personnel as well as the larger society.
“It is also gratifying to state that both the intensive care unit and the surgical theatres in the hospital are at the verge of completion. I, therefore, look forward to visiting Kaduna again to launch the projects upon their completion”, he said.