Ssempa Weighs In On UPDF AIDS Scare

sales sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Ssempa who has for two decades been at the forefront of the fight against HIV in Uganda, treatment said the current UPDF deployment policy, cost especially on foreign expeditions has significantly contributed to soldiers’ promiscuity, hence the high AIDS prevalence in the army.

At a recent function held to mark the International Candle Light day for HIV/AIDS, Martin Ssempa pointed out that soldiers, being separated from their spouses and families for a long time on faraway missions, has often compelled them to resort to promiscuity.

“When you dispatch men and women to Congo, or South Sudan or elsewhere and they come back with extra wives and children, it is a fact that we have to face that the issue of sexual relations should be part of the planning system of the movement of the soldiers,” he stated.

The pastor proposed that the National Defense institution revisits its policies to allow soldiers on long foreign missions some time to meet with their partners and family back home on set intervals.

“One must not have to make a sacrifice of their family in the service of their nation,” he noted.


“If these people have to be away on service for many months, there should be a rotation policy where after like three months, they are brought back to spend some time with their families before being sent back.”

This, he said, would tremendously reduce on the soldiers resorting to side dishes when they are far away from their lives ones.

At the event, it emerged that the prevalence of the disease had been on the steady rise since the mid 2000s.

UPDF Medical Services Director, Dr James Makumbi, expressed panic on what an escalating spread of the disease amongst soldiers could imply to the efficiency and performance of the national army in the near future.

He explained: “People with HIV are not only prone to infections, but will be sick for a long time. This implies that their man-hours being rendered are reduced. In the same vein, a [Defense] Force with a high HIV Percentage rate will not only be weak, but the soldiers might not be there all. They will keep falling off.”

“This is likely to be a major impediment to the national forces’ capability and efficiency, just like it would be to any other institution.”

At the event, soldiers lit candles to commemorate thousands of their colleagues who succumbed to the deadly virus.

Back to top button
Translate »

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker