The United Nations (UN) has lauded the effort and commitment of the Nigerian Medical Contingent (NIMED) of the Armed Forces of Nigeria undertaking peacekeeping operations in Timbuktu region of Mali.
The Deputy Special Representative, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Joanne Adamson, gave the commendation at a virtual interactive session by Nigerian peacekeepers with Nigerian journalists on Wednesday.
Adamson said the Nigeria contingent manning the Timbuktu military hospital were playing critical role to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.
She commended Nigeria for playing critical role in the peace support effort in the West African sub-region.
“The Nigerian contingent have been in the frontline in the fight against COVID, they have tried to contend with a lot of environmental hazards, the heat, the dust and the impact on equipment and men and women who serve.
“So, my request is to thank you and say please, carry on because we really appreciate what you are doing with us and to the country, Nigeria,” she said.
The Commander of the contingent, Lt.-Col. Akingbemila Olusola, said that the contingent were deployed to man the Nigerian Level 2 Hospital in Mali to provide medical services to the troops and UN staff in Timbuktu.
Olusola said the hospital is a secondary healthcare facility established to provide healthcare services and damage control surgical capability to injured peacekeepers and UN staff serving in Timbuktu.
According to him, the hospital comprises of high level medical professionals from the Nigerian military including the Nigerian army, Navy and Air Force.
“Our main role here is to ensure that the Nigerian level 2 hospital is always positioned to deliver prompt medical services to UN peacekeepers and staff in Timbuktu.
“We encourage and give confidence to the troops that are carrying out peacekeeping operations in various parts of Mali.
“The hospital is able to thoroughly care of the injured roops, do damage control surgery, carryout emergency resuscitation services, live and life saving, medical interventions to help them and to better their chances of survival.
“By so doing, Nigeria is contributing its quota to the peace and stability in Mali,” he said.
The commander said that the contingent were at the forefront in the fight against COVID by providing secondary facility with success.
He said that they also took part in the ongoing vaccination, adding that no adverse reaction had been experienced.
He said that they were prepared to work in any part of the world saying their training had prepared them to confront and overcome all challenges.
“We want to say that the Nigeria spirit is at play with us here in Mali because we do our job diligently,” he added.
The Head of Aeromedical Evacua tion Team/Chief Clinician, SQn. Ldr. Solomon Joshua, said the presence of the hospital in Timbuktu was a mission enabler and helped in building troops confidence.
Joshua said that MUNISMA was one of the most dangerous missions embarked by the UN, adding that Nigeria had troops deployed all over Mali.
He said that they carried out medical services mainly by air in view of the security challenges in the country and the difficult terrain.
According to him, the presence of this facility in this mission is a morale booster and confidence builder.
“It gives me a great pleasure to serve in this capacity in this mission where I provide services to save lives,” he said.