At least 37 recruits who turned up in Soroti for recruitment into the army were sent away after testing positive to Hepatitis B.
The group which had initially passed a series of other tests was eventually disqualified last evening after the result indicated they were not fit to join the army. Hepatitis B, an infectious illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) , is one of the commonest infections in Teso.
Other tests conducted include, the physical fitness test, the HIV test, Pregnancy test, other clinical illnesses and the Aptitude test.
Julius Okwii, a victim and a resident of Arapai in Soroti district said that prior to the test, he had not learned that he was suffering from Hepatitis B. He however requested that the recruitment team allows them to train while undergoing treatment.
Col. Stephen Mugerwa, a team leader heading the fifth division in overseeing the recruitment exercise in the regions of Acholi, Lango and Teso , says 37 recruits who had passed other tests failed because of Hepatitis B.
He adds that Hepatitis B is risky because it can be easily spread around. Hepatitis B is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids
Meanwhile, 96 people were successfully recruited into UPDF out of over 900 who turned up for the two-day exercise that was held in Soroti district. Capt. Telesphor Turyamumanya, the public Relations officer of the Fifth Division said that the recruits include seven girls and 89 men.
On the first day, at least 700 youths were turned away from recruitment after failing to produce proper documents and failing medical tests.
Cases of Hepatitis B were also reported in the areas of Acholi region where in kitgum district 35 UPDF recruits were tested and found suffering from Hepatitis B.