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Defence chief pledges support for DEPOWA’s projects

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, says the Defence Headquarters will support the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA), on projects that would be beneficial to families of military personnel.

Irabor made the pledged when the President of DEPOWA, Mrs Vickie Irabor, paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday.

The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

He commended the proposed establishment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) centre for military personnel and families and Diagnostic centre in honour of Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, who diagnosed the first Ebola case in Nigeria.

Irabor, while recounting the traumatic experiences faced by troops in the operational theatres, said the proposed PTSD project would significantly shore up the fighting spirit and psychological well-being of personnel.

He said that both troops and their families passed through emotional trauma in the task of defending and protecting the nation against adversaries.

The CDS also assured DEPOWA that the DHQ would support all its feasible projects that were tailored towards helping humanity.

He commended the military wives for patience and resilience in keeping the home front and urged them to continue to serve as role models to other personnel’s spouses.

Earlier, the DEPOWA President, Mrs Irabor, said that the association had evolved to become an organisation focused on providing support to wives of personnel and their families towards achieving a healthy military community.

She disclosed that the association came to seek the collaboration of the AFN to provide solutions to address the root causes of PTSD faced by personnel in line with her program tagged “Uniting Our Voices First” (UOVF).

She said that DEPOWA had proposed to establish PTSD evaluation and rehabilitation centre to evaluate, counsel and provide adequate support to personnel and their spouses prior to reintegration at the end of their operational tour of duty from the various theatres of operations.

According to her, the objective is to ensure that military personnel return to their families in a psychologically and physically stable state.

Mrs Irabor explained that many military personnel had suffered physical injuries, as well as suppressed emotional trauma accumulated from experiences in the theatres of operation.

She said that traits such as nightmares, anxiety, insomnia, outburst of anger etc were usually triggered in response to trauma and are therefore indicators of PTSD.

DEPOWA president equally solicited the support of the CDS and Service Chiefs towards the establishment of a state of the art diagnostic centre in honour of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, who diagnosed the first Ebola case and saved the entire country from the spread of the epidemic.

She added that the facility would also serve as a repository for future research on health challenges in the military, so as to provide cutting edge solutions.

She was accompanied by the National President of the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs fati Attahiru, National President Naval Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA), Hajiya Aisha Gambo and the National President, Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA), Mrs Elizabeth Amao.

They also visited the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao.

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