The Nigerian military said on Saturday that 7,043 soldiers who were either wounded by bandits or insurgents in the last few years, had so far been treated and discharged at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, in Kaduna.
The acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Colonel Stephen Onuchukwu, stated this while receiving the leadership of the Senate, led by its President, Ahmad Lawan.
Lawan, who donated N10m to the hospital’s authorities for the treatment of the injured military personnel, said the visit was part of the activities marking the second anniversary of the 9th Senate.
He lamented that the country had not experienced the type of the current insecurity since the civil war.
Onuchukwu had while briefing his visitors, said some of the wounded soldiers were maimed for life and required cutting edge medical facilities to keep them alive .
The CMD who is an Orthopedic Consultant, specifically declared that at 44 Army Reference Hospital alone , a total of 7, 403 wounded soldiers in action , have been received , treated and some undergoing treatment.
He said, “Since the war against insurgency, about 7, 403 wounded in action military personnel ,have been evacuated to this hospital for very urgent medical attention .
“While some of such wounded personnel , got treated and discharged with different forms of deformities , some are maimed for life .
” Those in this category are the ones with spinal cord injury being assisted with Urethral Implant for them to urinate .
” Some also have their legs and hands cut off as a result of cancerous injuries sustained at the battle fronts.
” These are aside others, being rehabilitated from Physical, emotional and psychological injuries, ” he lamented.
He said the hospital among others , has five suites of theatres, 8 – bed Intensive care Unit, state of the art radiology department , endoscopy unit, among others.
He, however, said that despite the increased capacity of the hospital, some special procedures and treatment were still being done abroad.
He therefore appealed to the National Assembly and by extension, the Federal Government to assist the hospital attaining the status of UN Level 4 Hospital.
In his remarks , the Senate President said the military was engaging in the most serious warfare since the civil war.
He said, “After the civil war in Nigeria, I daresay that there was never a time the military is involved in some type of warfare than this time.
“Our armed forces deserve all the support from all the citizens of Nigeria because they are fighting on our behalf.
“To do otherwise is to be unfair, to the armed forces. Our expectations as citizens are very high and therefore we have to give the armed forces what they require, we may not be able to give everything because we don’t have enough but we must as a country put in more resources because everything rests on peace and security.
“I want to assure you once more that beyond the supplementary budget, in 2022, we will provide more resources for our armed forces and I hope that the armed forces will be prioritised.
“The wounded offices must be treated properly. It will boost the moral of those that are there to fight. So we have every reason to make sure that hospitals like this are properly provided for.
“The country’s mounting security would expose the military personnel to different forms of injuries, thus the need for more medical facilities to cater for the needs of wounded soldiers.
“We can’t expect so much from you and give you little. That will be unfair.
“Our armed forces deserve the support of all Nigerians. We have to give them adequate resources to protect the country because everything needs peace and security,” he said .
Lawan assured Nigerians that the legislature would work with the Executive to ensuring that the armed forces is properly resourced and motivated.
He added that the N895bn supplementary budget recently forwarded to the National Assembly by the Presidency for purchase of military equipment and COVID-19 vaccines , would be expeditiously considered and passed, and that more funds would be appropriated for the military in 2022 budget.
The Senate delegation along with the Executive Governor of Kaduna State , Mallam Nasir El – Rufai and the General Officer , 1st Mechanized Division , Major – General Danjuma Ali-Keffi , later visited the wounded in Action patients across the various wards.