Hundreds Turn Up For Sickle Cell Screening

2266 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Evelynn Mwesigwa, the Executive Director Sickle Cell Network in Uganda cited a need for Ugandans to screen early to know their status and to avoid having children with sickle cell anaemia.

Hundreds of people have today taken advantage of the ongoing fundraising event for sickle cell patient Kacie Imran Buuza to screen for sickle cell anaemia.
The SAVE KACIE event at Hotel Africana was part of the campaign to raise 100,000 US Dollars for the seven-year-old boy to undergo a bone-marrow transplant procedure to cure him from acute sickle cell anaemia.

At Hotel Africana the day's activities included washing cars, selling of T-shirts with sickle cell message, blood donation, free screening and children's plays. Each car was being washed at 50,000 shillings with all the proceeds going to the Save Kacie campaign. T-shirts went for 30,000 shillings each while parents parted with 5000 for their children to access the playing area.

Some of the day's contributions came from Pearl of Africa Radio or Pearl FM managing director Abdulkarim Kariisa, who donated 10,000 US dollars. Musician Moses Ssali commonly known as Bebe Cool contributed 300,000 shillings.

Evelyn Mwesigwa, the Executive Director Sickle Cell Network in Uganda cited a need for Ugandans to screen before having children to avoid having children with sickle cell anaemia.
She noted the advantage of detecting the disease early enough saying that this enables the medical workers to manage the disease and reduce the death rate. 
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Muzamir Baguma, a resident of Makindye came with his two children to screen for sickle cell anaemia. He appealed to fathers to always take it as a priority and participate in the good health of their families.
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Priscilla Ajuna, a resident of Mpereerwe told URN that her second child has sickle cell disease and took advantage of the free screening to find out the status of her other child who is eight months old. 
She shared her experience with her sick child.
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Lakot Brenda, a staff with Sickle Cell Network Uganda appealed to the public to screen and always attend sensitization sessions about the disease.
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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) sickle cell disease is characterized by a modification in the shape of the red blood cell from a smooth, donut-shape into a crescent or half moon shape. The modified cells lack plasticity and can block small blood vessels, impairing blood flow. 

This condition leads to shortened red blood cell survival, and subsequent anaemia, often called sickle-cell anaemia. 

Sickle cell disease is one of the most inherited diseases with Africa having the highest cases. It is estimated that over 400,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease worldwide and over 200,000 births occur in the sub-Saharan Africa.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.