DETERMINED to strengthen mutual relations with its host communities in Bayelsa State, The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Muhammed Garuba, flagged off a free medical outreach to support both young and aged persons as a veritable platform to give back to the society.
Garuba averred that so far, five communities in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, had continuously benefitted from the free medical care, an exercise supported by the Chief of Naval Staff to encourage proper integration between the command and the civil populace.
At the Edepie community, there was a large turnout of both children and adults for the free medical outreach, in which over 1,000 residents got unfettered access to free medical care.
Beneficiaries were diagnosed as tests were carried out by qualified doctors and nurses and treatments administered, after which free drugs were also given to the large turnout at the town hall, Edepie.
The exercise was supported by health officials from the Bayelsa Ministry of Health, as they ensured that children below five years were treated and immunised to stay alive and healthy.
Garuba regretted that many had died of preventable ailments, owing to their inability to procure treatments and prescribed consumables (drugs), adding that diseases such as whooping cough, catarrh, malaria/typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery and diarrhea, amongst others, had killed many.
On the efforts to restore peace in the region, Garuba urged Niger Delta communities to seize the window of ongoing dialogue, even as he noted that dialogue was the most potent weapon as it accommodates the interest of all parties.
Garuba, who appreciated the host communities, said the command would continue to promote mutual relations in the area and solicit the information and cooperation of the people in its bid to rid the region of maritime crime.
The traditional ruler of Edepie Community thanked the FOC of the Central Naval Command and expressed the profound gratitude of his people who were visibly elated for the free medical care at a time their salaries were delayed and slashed to 50 per cent by the state government.
He posited that if politicians, both at state and national levels representing the area were supporting the people, whose votes secured their offices, then there would be a sense of belonging and society would be better.
He repeatedly lauded the Navy for the friendly gesture to the community at a time of economic crisis that had depleted the disposable income of residents, and pledged to sustain and strengthen the mutual relationship in response to command’s welfare of the communities.