Over 40 women from different Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno State have benefitted from the recently concluded Nigerian Air Force (NAF) one-week free cancer screening exercise. The exercise was held at the newly established NAF Cancer Screening Centre at 109 Composite Group in Maiduguri from 16 – 20 May 2017. It was in fulfillment of the pledge earlier made by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to extend healthcare delivery to less privileged Nigerians, particularly those in IDP camps. The screening, which covered cancer of the breast, cervix, ovaries, colon and liver, was also extended to NAF personnel and their dependants.
The screening and treatment were conducted by NAF medical personnel, who had earlier received in-house training as part of the capacity-building efforts of the NAF leadership. The screening methods used by the NAF medical personnel included colposcopy, ultra-sound, mammogram and laboratory test of various tumor markers. During the screening exercise, those detected with early stages of cancer of the cervix were promptly treated, free of charge, using colposcopy.
The women from the IDP camps equally took advantage of the opportunity to examine other key aspects of their health status at no cost. It would be recalled that the CAS had assured officers and men of the NAF during the week-long training of healthcare practitioners by the NAF Medical Services in 2016 that the cervical screening facilities at the NAF Hospital Abuja would be provided in other hospitals across the country. Air Marshal Abubakar has reassured the IDPs and other members of the public that the exercise would be a continuous one.