Defence minister considers Hiv/Aids a threat to soldiers
Luanda , Luanda – The Angolan minister of Defence, Cândido Pereira Van-Dúnem, Tuesday in Luanda considered the Hiv/Aids as a threat to the health of the soldiers as draftees are people in risky age. The minister was speaking at the opening of the 2nd Workshop of the Military Technical Sub-Committee of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) for Hiv/Aids that will go until September 29 this year. He said on the occasion that the pandemic at times causes bigger damages than those caused in the very military service. Cândido Pereira Van-Dunem also said that the military are vulnerable to contracting the disease because they stay away from their families long periods of time and are also tempted to indulge in excessive use of alcohol and drugs because of their age. The above mentioned factors, coupled with the sentiment of invincibility and courage that are natural in youths, substantially increase the risk of infection. According to him, military camps and installations are also an attractive to sex workers with the purpose of infect soldiers who are known to possess money but having no condoms. He stated as well that Angola and the authorities in the SADC region at large are concerned about the propagation of the disease as it can threaten the combative preparedness when soldiers are infected or even die from the evil. In addition to its impact on the operative side, there is the cost involved in treating the patients and loss of highly experienced technicians. The event’s opening ceremony was witnessed by the ministers of Family and Women Promotion, Genoveva Lino, Science and Technology, Cândida Teixeira, the Africa director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Luís Sambo and the chairman of the Physicians Order, Carlos Pinto Sousa. High ranking officers of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), MPs, diplomats and other guests, including delegates from SADC member countries, also attended the opening.