By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) has unveiled plans to provide a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) centre for military personnel and families.
The DEPOWA President, Barr Vickie Irabor, disclosed this during a visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen LEO Irabor on Wednesday in Abuja.
Barr Irabor said the rehabilitation centre will evaluate, counsel and provide adequate support to personnel and their spouses prior to reintegration at the end of their operational tour of duty.
She emphasized that the objective is to ensure that military personnel return to their families in a psychologically and physically stable state
The DEPOWA President said the body has evolved to become an organization focused on providing support to Wives of personnel and their families towards achieving a healthy military community.
She said that that in line with her program tagged “Uniting Our Voices First” (UOVF), the Association is seeking the collaboration of the AFN to provide solutions to address the root causes of PTSD faced by personnel. 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.
The DEPOWA President pointed out that traits such as nightmares, anxiety, insomnia, outburst of anger etc are usually triggered in response to trauma and are therefore indicators of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
She 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 will also serve as a repository for future research on health challenges in the military, so as to provide cutting edge solutions.
In his speech, the CDS expressed the willingness of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to support and collaborate with the leadership of the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) towards executing humanitarian programmes that would be beneficial to families of military personnel.
Prime among these projects are the establishment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) centre for military personnel and families, as well as a Diagnostic centre in honour of Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, who diagnosed the first Ebola case in Nigeria.
He recounted the traumatic experiences faced by troops in the operational theatres and commended the DEPOWA leadership for initiating the proposed PTSD project which he said would significantly shore up the fighting spirit and psychological well-being of personnel of the AFN.
The CDS who lamented that both troops and their families undergo emotional trauma in the task of defending and protecting the nation against adversaries further assured that the DHQ will support all feasible DEPOWA’s projects that are tailored towards helping humanity.
The Defence Chief used the opportunity to express appreciation to the DEPOWA members for keeping the home front and urged them to continue to serve as role models to other personnel’s spouses.
The DEPOWA President 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.
The delegation also visited the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao.