The Nigerian Army on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno State laid the foundation stone for a 200-bed capacity reference hospital that will provide healthcare for soldiers injured in the war against Boko Haram insurgency.
The reference hospital, according to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, would attend to civilians in the host community.
The facility is sited adjacent to Maimalari Barracks, headquarters of the army’s 7 Division.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, the COAS said the proposed health facility would also provide referral medical care to injured soldiers.
“Nigerian Army is committed to ensuring the welfare of its personnel and families, including families of deceased colleagues; that’s why we are gathered here today to boost efforts at providing effective and efficient healthcare delivery for personal, ” said Mr Buratai.
The army usually transports injured soldiers in need of advanced medical care to the 44 Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna State.
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Mr Buratai said, “the hospital was conceived to reduce the rigors of traveling to 44 Army reference hospitals in Kaduna.
“Within the Northeast region, the counter-insurgency efforts of the Nigerian Army sometimes resulted in casualty that required special medical care, which currently, the 44 Nigerian Army reference hospital provides.
“Evacuation of personnel in Kaduna has often resulted in waste of valuable time especially, for emergency reasons.”
He said it was the reason that the Nigerian Army has decided to establish the 200-bed capacity hospital to deal with the health demands of the “troops, their families, and the general public.”
While praying for the repose of soldiers who laid down their lives in defence of the country, Mr Buratai thanked the government of Borno State for giving the piece of land on which the hospital is being built.
Governor Babagana Zulum, who was a special guest at the event, expressed delight over the establishment of the Army referral hospital in Maiduguri.
The governor who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Babagana Wakil, said “the completion of the hospital will also strengthen military/civil relations.
“The completion of this hospital will add more values to both troops and communities of Borno state.
“Let me urge all of you to be well focused, supportive, and patriotic at ensuring that our father’s land remains safe and secured.”