Aftermath of several injuries sustained by troops in the ongoing war against terror in the North East, some of which are in very critical condition, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya has said the Army is looking at conducting medical evacuation of wounded troops to India and other countries, working on a government to government approach.
It would be recalled that in recent months, following the intensification of the onslaught on the terrorists camps in the North East, some troops have fallen victims to landmines and hidden improvised explosive devices which has resulted in deaths in some cases while many personnel have sustained life threatening hands and limbs injuries that may lead to loss of life or amputations if not properly treated.
Also, in the North West and North Central, the Army has recorded several wounded in action casualties of its personnel in surprise attacks on their locations while some were as a result of clearance operations on bandit’s enclaves and camps.
The COAS spoke on medical evacuation when he received the Defence Scoping Delegation from India led by Lt. Gen. Vinod Khadare (rtd) at Army headquarters even as he noted that the Army was also looking at other countries for medical evacuation noting that if a situation where issue of finance or costs of the evacuation becomes a challenge, the Army may work towards bringing the medical personnel down to Nigeria to provide the required treatments.
“I want to bring it to your notice that the Indian government as part of our very fruitful bilateral relations, cooperation and collaboration has offered the Nigerian Army a line of credit. We have gotten the green light from our parent ministry (MOD). We are making efforts to cash in on this facility. Our areas of focus will be training and in the medical fields.
“I have a certain degree of wounded personnel and I have put machinery in place to get them abroad for treatment using government to government approach. We are looking at some certified and reputable Indian hospitals among these countries. We will conduct medical evacuations using our various Defence Advisers to facilitate the movement”.
“We are also looking at leveraging on application and of technology in modern warfare of which India is notable for, particularly in the area of training of Special Forces and other areas.
Earlier, Lt. Gen Vinod Khadare said the Scoping delegation comprising representatives of the Indian Army, Navy, Air force and the Intelligence services, were in Nigeria to see how the cooperation between India and Nigeria can be improved further so that the direction and tempo can be increased especially with the current security challenges the Army was confronting.
He said, “The future of warfare is changing very fast. We need to integrate technology seriously to catch up with conventional warfare methods. Here we have to look at cyber space and its threats and training of Special Forces.
“Also, beyond military cooperation, we have the concept of think tanks in various branches of the Indian military which is another area of cooperation we feel the Nigerian Army can leverage on.”