Uganda Defence Forces recruit collapses during physical drills due to hunger

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A Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) recruit identified as Levi Okwir on July 9 collapsed during a physical fitness test exercise in Dokolo District due to suspected hunger.

This young man, who is a resident of Okwongodul “B” Village, Okwongodul Parish, Dokolo Sub-county in Dokolo District, collapsed at Dokolo Technical Institute shortly before completing the 4-kilometre run.

He was immediately evacuated by the ambulance belonging to the UPDF recruitment team codenamed “Team Six” and the medical team for intensive first aid.

Capt Doctor Alex Kissa, the Team Six medical officer, said the candidate’s blood pressure had dropped below normal but he was resuscitated in time.

After gaining his stability, Okwir reportedly told the UPDF medical team that he did not take enough water or eat food in the evening of July 8. He did not have breakfast on Tuesday morning before going for the exercise.

Capt Ahmad Hassan Kato, UPDF 4th Infantry Division Public Information Officer, also the spokesperson for Team Six, confirmed the incident. However, he told the Monitor that Okwir was now out of danger pending further medical examinations.

“Mr. Levi did not make a kilometre before he fainted,” he said.

The recruitment team is at Dokolo Technical Institute to recruit young Ugandan women and men who had initially applied and were shortlisted by the UPDF to join the force.

The team will recruit candidates from Amolatar and Dokolo districts on Tuesday and on Wednesday, July 10, recruit from Kaberamaido and Kalaki districts but all the exercises will be at Dokolo Technical Institute in Dokolo Town Council.

Capt Kato said during the two-day exercise, at least 39 shortlisted candidates from Dokolo and additional 30 candidates from Amolatar will be recruited.

“We registered eight absentee candidates from Dokolo and five from Amolatar,” he added.

Between July 10 and July 14, the Team Six will vet and recruit 25 candidates from Kaberamaido; 26 from Kalaki, 42 from Apac, 39 from Kwania, 83 from Oyam, and 52 from Kole District as per the quotas allotted to each district based on the recent census statistics.

“So far three candidates were got with fake Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) result slips from Dokolo District and three from Amolatar District,” the UPDF 4th Division Public Information Officer said.

“They were handed over to their respective District Internal Security Officers for further investigations and management. The team will only handle those who have been shortlisted, vetted, and cleared to be considered to join the UPDF,” he said.

The medical team then examines candidates for body deformities among other in-depth medical checkups.

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