UPDF receives ARVs from Canadian Hebrews

The Hebrew (locally known as Bayudaya) in Uganda have donated 278 cartons of antiretroviral and antibiotic drugs to the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces.

The senior presidential advisor on medical matters, Brigadier James Makumbi received the drugs from Dr. Baniru Masaba of Tobin Health Centre in Mbale town.

Dr. Masaba handed over the medical package on behalf of Canadian Friend of Pearl of Children executive director, Deborah Rottenberg.

Makumbi hailed the Canadian government and decried the ever-increasing number people from the communities that flock the UPDF health centres to access ARV drugs.

The pronouncement of TASO cutting the aid for ARVs has affected piled more pressure on the UPDF as an institution.

“Half the drugs we receive are consumed by the surrounding communities. They assume UPDF drugs are stronger and more effective,” Makumbi revealed.

He appealed to the masses and UPDF soldiers to be more faithful and practice Zero-grazing as the more effective ways of protecting themselves from being infected with the incurable HIV virus.

“You should not think and be deceived that HIV/AIDS is only common among the soldiers but it’s now everyone’s concern,” he said.

“The only challenge is that UPDF is more classified and exposed to HIV because of situation.”

He appealed to the senior ranked officers in the UPDF to adhere to the messages from the Uganda Aids Commission, live responsible lives, practice zero-grazing and love their spouses when away on missions or at home.

Dr Masaba, while handing over the drugs said that their friends in Canada are in position to donate more drugs to vulnerable communities in Uganda

However, he said, the biggest challenge is that communities have not come out to show the priority.

“Donation that comes in is based on the request from the Tobin Health Centre but we appeal to the communities, government-aided and private health centers to send in their priorities to avoid the push method.”