ByÂ Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJA â€” The Defence Headquarters said yesterday that it has concluded arrangements for the establishment of a DNA bank and analysis centre for the armed forces in view of rising medical cases, accidents and HIV virus patients requiring blood transfusion and donations among troops.
Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, who made the disclosure at the Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA) health seminar in Abuja, said the facility which will host the data of all members of the armed forces and their families, would also be extended to service other interested members of the public.
The disclosure came just as the President of DEPOWA, Mrs. Folashade Dike, announced that the association would take over the payment of the school fees of 116 orphans and vulnerable children from the barracks, who currently cannot go to school because they had nobody to pay for their education.
Explaining the need for improved healthcare within the armed forces, Dike said the theme for the seminar “Health is Wealth” was very appropriate because the importance of wealth and health as essential ingredients for qualitative existence could not be overemphasized.
Therefore, the CDS noted: â€œDEPOPWA, which has proved itself as a socially responsible organisation, with the mission to create awareness not only in the armed forces, but also in the society at large, was invited to partner the Defence Headquarters as we strive to improve our healthcare system.â€
On her part, the DEPOWA President whose prompt announcement that her organisation will take over the payment of school fees of the 116 orphans and vulnerable children in military barracks, followed a disclosure to that effect by a Naval personnel living with HIV, explained that the topic was chosen because “in our society, people erroneously believe that the most important thing in life is to make money, to get rich and become ‘big menâ€™ at any cost.
â€œAs a matter of fact, health is arguably the most important factor in our lives. Unfortunately, it seems that these days, for wealth, we forget our health, either intentionally or unintentionally,â€ she said.