Brig Stephen Kusasira has launched the commander’s sensitisation notebook on HIV/AIDS with a call to soldiers to take their health seriously.
Kusasira said that it is a primary obligation for a Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier to access voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to know his or her status at all times.
He added that there is no excuse for a soldier not to test regularly for HIV/AIDS.
He said peer education should be handled at all levels in the institution and there should be an increased support for the peer educators to extend services to even those personnel deployed in distant areas.
“We should make use of these commanders’ sensitisation notebooks and it should not be only given to high commanders but majorly to platoon commanders to make use of them as immediate superiors to the soldiers all times” said Kusasira.
He appreciated the United States Department of Defence (DOD), PACE and the Directorate of HIV for the initiative of the notebook and for the journey it has walked with UPDF for the last four years.
The Director HIV/AIDS in the UPDF, Maj Eveline Asiimwe appreciated the resilient close collaboration, cooperation and the long positive history with the United States government.
“I appreciate the peers who have been working tirelessly in the sensitisation process alongside the Covid-19 pandemic. I urge the commanders to make use of these sensitisation notebooks to make sure that the information is disseminated to the end users correctly for capability and sustainability to combat HIV/AIDS in the UPDF institution,” said Asiimwe.
The sensitisation notebook is a double purpose book for writing in some key notes by the commander and it contains detailed information or messages on HIV/AIDS prevention care treatment and support, Covid-19 related information, malaria and public health concerns written in two languages Kiswahili and English.