Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said the health of its officers, men and members of their family is important as the cost of neglecting such is greater.
The chief of staff who was represented by Air Officer Commanding, Training Command of the NAF, Air Vice Marshal Nurudeen Balogun, said in the past one year and half the NAF has established new hospitals, expanded and upgraded 33 health care facilities.
As part of its commitment to protect Nigerians, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commissioned a cancer screening centre and registry in Kaduna.
As regards the short for in the numbers of medical personal, Balogun said 21 medical officers were among the newly commissioned Direct Short Service Course 25 that passed out on 16 December 19, 2016.
He said it became important to establish a cancer screening owing to the high death rate as a result of the silent killer citing that death of most women between ages 15-45 years are cancer related as one in every 25 women stand the risk of developing breast cancer.
His words : “ health of an individual is one is one of the most essential pre-requisite to carry out his or her duties effectively and efficiently, when an officer or airman is unwell not only that he or she will be unable to do his job properly but his safety and that of the equipment he is working with becomes compromised. Hence the cost of to the service could be unimaginable if we neglect the health of our personnel and dependants.
“ It is for this reason that we have in the past one and half years embarked on the general upgrade of our medical facilities which saw the establishment of new hospitals, expansion of the existing ones and provision of modern high-tech equipments to virtually all of our existing 33 health care facilities.
Balogun said the establishment of screening centers at various hospitals will provide easy access to medical attention to personnel, their dependants and members of the public, thereby assuring early diagnosis and treatment.
“We have made significant efforts in addressing the manpower problem in the medical trade through increased enlistment of medical professionals. This is evident as the medical trade had a total of 21 officers amongst the newly commissioned DSSC 25 out on 16 December 2016.
fShinkafi said the center will also provide best of training facilities to all heath care provides both within and outside the NAF.
He however said the registry will serve as a data base as practiced in other countries, which will aide in research and planning in the health scetor.
According to Shinkafi :”This centre has been equipped with facilities for screening of cancer of the breast, cervix, prostrate colon and liver among others.
“The centre will provide excellent training facilities for health care providers outside the NAF.
“ According to the world health Organization (WHO), Breast and cervical cancers are the most common causes of cancer related death in women between ages 15-45 years. It is estimated that one in every 25 women are at risk of developing breast cancer in her life time, while 1 in every 400 women will develop cervical cancer in her life time. Hence it is important to detect these cancers early through screening in order to prevent untimely death associated with late detection.
“It is hoped that, establishing these cancer screening centers in our hospitals will provide our personnel ns their families as well as teaming populations around our bases, the opportunity to carry out regular checks in order to detect cancers early enough”. He added
Chief Medical Officer, Air Vice Marshal Saleh Shinkafi disclosed that the facility has been equipped with equipment that can cater for different types cancer and treatment at early stage.
“We believe the cancer registry will provide a reliable data base for use in research and planning for public health intervention programmes for cancer in the nation,” he added.