600 Sickle Cell Patients Cry For Clinical Services In Luweero

1807 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
Joseph Katerega a sickle cell patient living in Luweero Sub County says that he needs daily contact with specialist for advice and treatment of emergencies like infections and acute joint pain which struck him daily.

Over 600 sickle cell patients living in Greater Luweero districts are demanding for daily specialized clinical services to address their challenges.

In 2013, Kasana Health Center IV in partnership with Holly Foundation Uganda and opened up a specialized clinic to offer medical services  to sickle cell patients in the districts of Nakaseke, Luweero and Nakasongola among others.

However the clinic operates only on Tuesdays living patients with the sickle cells anemia crying foul in times of emergencies on other days.

Joseph Katerega, a sickle cell patient living in Luweero Sub County explains that he needs daily contact with a specialist  for advice and treatment of emergencies like infections and acute joint pain which he gets daily.

Kateregga says that unfortunately when he rushes to government health centers, some health workers administer wrong treatment which can't relieve him the pain neither offer him counseling to manage the crisis.

He adds that sometimes he runs out of drugs and yet buying it from private clinics is difficult because of the high costs.

Luganda Byte

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Paul Angello Oyek, a caretaker for sickle cell child spends about 25,000 shillings daily to buy pain killers and additional fee for special diet something that has become difficult to raise.

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Safina Nakalanzi, another caretaker for 13 year old sickle cell victim says that the father abandoned the kid and she is struggling to raise funds to buy drugs from private places in case of emergencies.

Milly Nakazi, a caretaker for three sickle cell asks government to equip Kasana sickle cell clinic and open up others at district level to cut transport costs to one facility.

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Fred Lutaaya, a programme secretary for Holly Foundation Uganda says that the clinic is supposed to receive medical supplies from government but sometimes it delays and they buy from their operational fund . However Holly Foundation Uganda lacks enough funding to operate on daily basis and still sourcing for more donations to save the patients.

Sickle cell victims needs folic acid, Mmltivitamins, blood,f ansidar and pain killers. The drugs help in treating sickle cell, boast appetite, blood transfusion and prevent other infections which complicates their illness.

Doctor Innocent Nkonwa, the In charge of Kasana Health Center IV admitted that the general health center facility lacks specialists to respond to emergencies when the clinic is closed.

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Executive Director of Sickle Cell Network Uganda, Evelyn Mwesigwa says that her organization in conjunction with Ministry of Health and Bank of Uganda have launched an awareness campaign to sensitize both health workers and caretakers on management of the patients to address the gap of lack specialists and clinics in the country.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.