The Nigerian army says its ongoing medical outreach is on popular demand despite rumours that it is being used to spread the monkeypox virus.
Shortly after the army started the programme in some parts of the country, there were reports that soldiers were using it to allegedly spread the virus.
Although the army denied the allegations, many schools were shut some states including Abia and Rivers.
In a statement, the 6 division of the Nigerian army in Rivers state, said the success of the medical outreach in Etche local government area has “proved critics wrong”.
It said over 1,700 persons benefitted from the treatment in the area.
“Despite the futile attempt by rumour mongers about the well-intended gesture of the Nigerian army to scare genuine beneficiaries of the exercise, the division went ahead and proved critics wrong,” the statement read.
“At today’s (Thursday) medical outreach at Igbo Etche community in Etche LGA of Rivers state, hundreds of residents trooped to the venue to benefit from the exercise.
“Over 1700 residents were diagnosed, treated and administered with drugs depending on their ailments. There was also distribution of treated mosquito nets to nursing mothers and pregnant women.
“One particular case of an old woman in her 80s, (Mrs. Margaret Okere) who has lost her sights for a long time was brought to the venue by her grandson. After careful examination and administration of requisite eye drops and eye glasses, Mrs Okere regained her sight and that sent jubilation among the crowd.”
The division further said the outreach had to be extended to the next day (Thursday) “due to popular demand by the community.”
It listed the services rendered as: “Free medical consultation, HIV counselling and testing, prostrate health awareness, dental care services, eye care services, free drugs dispensing, cardiovascular screening as well as DM/neuropathic screening.”