Ugandan troops, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) have conducted a public health drive in Juba and Bor, South Sudan distributing condoms and circumcising men as part of their efforts to reduce on the spread of HIV in South Sudan.
As a joke, one of the UPDF spokesmen in South Sudan said the Ugandan troops want men who have been raping women in Sudan to put on condoms.
“There are several activities UPDF is doing. Among them is medical outreach. The UPDF is a unique army. It is unique is many respects,” UPDF spokesman Paddy Ankunda says.
Ankunda says circumcision is a proven method to reducing the risk of HIV/AIDS and the UPDF thinks that circumcision will reduce the risk of infection. According to records, UPDF doctors have carried out 330 circumcisions, 630 HIV tests and distributed over 43,500 condoms to people of South Sudan.
Scientists argue that male circumcision significantly reduces on the chances of HIV infection because the foreskin has a higher concentration of HIV-receptors than the rest of the penis and is prone to tears during intercourse, providing for a HIV entry point.
The UPDF has also distributed mosquito nets, treated malaria, treated eye infections and dental complications in South Sudan. The UPDF treated the people of South Sudan in rememberance of a 1981 attack against an army barracks in Uganda by rebel forces fighting then-president of Uganda, Apolo Milton Obote, which heralded the start of a war that ended in 1986 with current President Yoweri Museveni taking office.