The Minister of Defense, retired Major General. Bashir Magashi, opened the prosthetics and orthotics workshop at the 44th Defense Hospital of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna on Wednesday.
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It was reported that the workshop was built for the production of artificial limbs through the German Technical Advisory Group (GTAG).
The minister, who was represented by Johnson, Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, praised the German government for its support of Nigeria‘s war against the insurgency.
He recalled that GTAG, a bilateral program between Nigeria and Germany, established a rehabilitation clinic and handed it over to the Nigerian government in 2019.
“Within the short time of its operation and the fact that the clinic is the only one of its kind with state-of-the-art medical equipment in Nigeria, it attracted overwhelming patronage from across the country,” he said.Magashi said GTAG has started expanding the clinic to accommodate the prosthetics workshop to handle the large turnout of patients.
“Therefore, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, I express our deep gratitude to the German government for these laudable projects.
“The federal government and, in particular, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces remain grateful for their diverse support in supplying medical equipment and providing technical expertise through GTAG.”
He promised to ensure the effective use for the benefit of all Nigerians and humanity in general.
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According to her, the GTAG equipment assistance program is for selected countries in Africa, including Nigeria, to improve the operational capacity of their armed forces.
“In Nigeria, the German government has invested around 20 million euros in the last five years as part of the aid program for equipment.
“Of this, around €2.8 million went to the rehabilitation center project at the 44 Kaduna referral hospital.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari made the request for the establishment of the center in 2015 during the G7 Summit in Germany.
“The president had a very friendly and fruitful exchange of views with our former Chancellor Angela Merkel on bilateral relations, international security and measures to be taken in the face of challenges in the region.”
The ambassador has reviewed several projects that have been debated in the German Parliament, some of which have been included in the equipment aid program.
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Ory said that a training program for Nigerian prosthetic technicians was started in 2020 at one of the world’s largest artificial limb manufacturers, the German company OTTOBOCK.
“They have received a year of training and have been certified; by September 2022, Nigeria will have three certified technicians,” she said.
The ambassador expressed his joy that Nigeria has already started producing prosthetic limbs.
“The first five patients have already received their new limbs and, in cooperation with the rehabilitation clinic, they will quickly learn to master their lives with this new medical aid.
“There is no denying that the partnership approach is beginning to bear fruit.
“We, the Federal Republic of Germany, will further intensify this cooperation in the coming years and will closely support our Nigerian partner,” Ory said.
Acting Commander of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Colonel Idris Solebo, said that the establishment of the workshop for the production of artificial limbs for soldiers and civilians was very important.
“This local production of world-class artificial limbs will facilitate our efforts in combat amputees rehabilitation and fighting force morale,” Solebo said.
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