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Hepatitis B Shatters Dreams for Prospective LDU Recruits :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Hepatitis B Shatters Dreams for Prospective LDU Recruits

According to the UPDF, recruits need to be physically fit, medically and mentally fit with no impairments. Persons living with HIV, those suffering from Hepatitis, asthma, heart disease and Kidney complications, are automatically eliminated through the medical fitness test, in order to avoid escalating the ailments.
Some of the selected recruits at Arua police grounds ready to take on to a running exercise

Audio 3

More than 100 youths have been thrown out of the ongoing recruitment of Local Defence Unit personnel in Arua District as a result of Hepatitis B infections, lack of academic qualifications and late coming.

The youths from the districts of Arua, Adjumani, Amuru, Koboko, Moyo and Yumbe flooded Arua Police Grounds early today, seeking slots in the Local Defence Unit, a reserve force under the Uganda People's Defence Forces- UPDF.

The recruitment follows President Museveni's directive of recruiting LDUs to tighten up security across the country, following a spate of killing, especially in the Districts of Kampala and Wakiso. It targets young people aged between 18 and 35.

But according to the UPDF, recruits need to be physically fit, medically and mentally fit with no impairments. Persons living with HIV, those suffering from Hepatitis, asthma, heart disease and Kidney complications, are automatically eliminated through the medical fitness test, in order to avoid escalating the ailments.

Col. Ronald Bigirwa, the 4th Division Deputy Commander and head of the recruitment team in Arua district says records of people with Hepatitis B in the region are alarming. The liver infection can sometimes be fatal if it is left untreated. It spreads when people come in contact with the blood, open sores, or body fluids of someone who has the disease. 

Uganda is one of the countries affected most by Hepatitis B. About 3.5 million, representing 10 percent of the Ugandan population are living with chronic hepatitis B infection. Karamoja region ranks highest with 23.9 percent of the cases, followed by northern Uganda at 20.7 percent, West Nile with 18.5 percent and western region with 10 percent of the country prevalence.

Col. Bigirwa appeals to the general public to test and treat the infection.

//Cue in…We have had challenges of …

Cue out…they want to be employed //

Col. Bigirwa adds that the army has a designated number of recruits expected in the region and will probably leave out many more other candidates.

//Cue in…Our target for Arua is …

Cue out…particular slot for women //

More than one hundred youths were turned away after being left in the rain for nearly an hour since they turned up late while others had no primary seven papers and some failed to speak or write in English.

//Cue in…So I come here to join …

Cue out…we came without, it's now late //

The LDU recruits are expected to undergo a four months training in military skills before being deployed under close monitoring by UPDF commanders.