• No_Ads
National
Ugandan army winning hearts, minds and foreskinsPublish Date: Feb 05, 2014
Ugandan army winning hearts, minds and foreskins
  • mail
  • img
UPDF soldiers cleaning Nansana town in Wakiso as part of acctivities to mark the Army week ahead of Tarehe Sita celebrations on Thursday. PHOTO/ Mary Kansiime
newvision

Ugandan troops have been marking national army week celebrations with a public health drive that includes distributing condoms and circumcising men as part of efforts to battle AIDS.

"There are several activities that we are doing. Among them is medical outreach. The UPDF (Uganda People's Defence Force) is a unique army. It is unique is many respects," army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said on Tuesday.

"Circumcision is a proven method to reducing the risk of HIV/AIDS and we think that by doing that our people will reduce the risk of infection," he told AFP, adding that army doctors have in recent days carried out 330 circumcisions, 630 HIV tests and distributed 43,500 condoms.
UPDF soldiers cleaning Nansana town in Wakiso as part of acctivities to mark the Army week ahead of Tarehe Sita celebrations on Thursday. PHOTO/ Mary Kansiime


Scientists have found that male circumcision can significantly reduce the chances of HIV infection because the foreskin has a higher concentration of HIV-receptors than the rest of the penis and is prone to tears during intercourse, providing for a HIV entry point.

"We are taking care of the entire procedure. We have installed ourselves in already existing health centres and constructed appropriate facilities," Ankunda said.

"But that is just one activity. We are distributing mosquito nets, we are treating malaria, treating eye infections, dental complications, all sorts of things," he added.

Ugandan army week leads up to the February 6 anniversary of a 1981 attack against an army barracks by rebel forces fighting then-president Apolo Milton Obote, which heralded the start of a war that ended in 1986 with current President Yoweri Museveni taking office.

Each year the army marks the anniversary with public service activities in designated areas of the country. This year operations are taking place in the west of the country, although Ankunda said Ugandan troops across the country and those based in South Sudan and Somalia were also active.

"We do so many things. We do medical outreach, we work with other agencies, we redo roads that are broken in the countryside of the region we select. We do mobilisation for the people against disease and poverty," he said.

Uganda was once heralded as a success story in the fight against HIV, with Museveni among the first African leaders to speak openly about AIDS and the government mounting a highly successful public awareness campaign in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Infection rates initially dropped from double to single digits, but according to the most recent statistics, from 2011, the national prevalence rate rose to 7.3 percent from 6.4 percent in 2004-05 -- with health officials blaming increased complacency. AFP

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Civil Soceity calls for decisive action against corruption
Civil society organizations have called for decisive action on the theft of public funds if the country is to support its budget....
Kadaga, Omach disagree over sh28b
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and the State Minister for Finance Fred Omach Tuesday failed to break the deadlock over Parliament’s demand for sh28b to install security equipment in the multi-storey parking lot....
Mungherera wants village health teams regulated
The President of the World Medical Association, Dr Margaret Mungherera has urged Government to regulate the work of Village Health Teams (VHTs). VHTs are volunteers recruited by Government to diagnose and treat basic ailments in communities that are distant from health facilities....
Wakiso residents get cheap medical services
Residents of Massajja in Wakiso district have a reason to smile after receiving a financial-friendly health centre in the area....
Museveni returns 213 land titles, hails Buganda
The Government has returned some of Buganda property including 213 land titles.President Museveni handed over documents detailing the property to Deputy Katikkiro....
Amref earmarks sh17b for health support in Uganda
Amref Health Africa, a leading international African-based non-governmental organization has raised $100m to inject into healthcare in eleven African countries....
Should the Revival of Uganda airlines be a Govt or Private sector project?
Government
Private
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter