But Col. Joseph Balukudembe, the leader of the army recruitment in charge of North and West Nile region says that between 30-40 percent of the applicant who turned up for recruitment tested positive for Hepatitis B and HIV.
The army recruitment in North and West Nile region suffered a setback because of the high prevalence rate of Hepatitis B and HIV. Recently, the army embarked on a countrywide recruitment. More than 300 youths from Acholi and West Nile sub regions were enrolled into the army.
But Col. Joseph Balikudembe, the leader of the army recruitment in charge of North and West Nile region says that between 30-40 percent of the applicant who turned up for recruitment tested positive for Hepatitis B and HIV. Colonel Balikudembe says it is very frustrating that the many illegible candidates who looked physically fit were disqualified after they tested positive.
He noted that it is unfortunate that, majority of the youths are living with the disease without knowing it. Col. Balukudembe noted that unless government does something about the HIV prevalence it may affect may negatively affect such exercises in the region. He said they will write a report on the exercise and engage government and other stakeholders on how to deal with the prevalence.
James Henry Obol, the Head of Public Health Department Faculty of Medicine Gulu University attributes the high rates of Hepatitis B and HIV to rampant cases of rape during the insurgency. Obol explains that, during the war, several women were raped and ended up passing on the disease to their spouses and newly born babies unknowingly.
Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver and can cause liver cell damage, which can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and cancer.