drug http://dejanmilutinovic.com/wp-content/plugins/unyson/framework/extensions/shortcodes/shortcodes/icon/options.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>Hon Kadaga who confessed to have a relative carrying the Sickle Cell gene back home reemphasized government’s need to commit towards availing accessible and affordable medical services to parents and children – both carriers and patients especially those in remote countries that have difficulties accessing basic health care services.
Uganda ranks among the world’s most affected countries with studies once revealing a 45 percent Sickle cell infection in the western district of Bundibugyo – the world’s worst ever recorded scourge.
New studies have also pointed out that various districts in Eastern Uganda are recording soaring numbers of Sickle Cell patients while Mbarara district ranks lowest.
Speaker Kadaga decried lack of sufficient current information and data on the disease in the country, noting that most of the research data depended on was becoming outdated and thus called for studies to be conducted.
“About 330000 children are born annually carrying this sickle cell gene and unfortunately 80 percent of these die before the age of five. This is tantamount to genocide and calls for government’s quick intervention,” said Kadaga while opening up a day-long Sicke Cell conference at Hotel Africana on Thursday.
Kadaga highlighted a dire need for government’s financial and moral commitment to this cause especially development of a National Policy Framework that deals specifically prevention, treatment and eradication of the disease in the country.
“I recently received a petition from the Sickle Cell Association of Uganda raising the same call and I am promising utmost collaboration. We are now going for the general debate on State of Nation Address and I will use this chance to ask some members to raise the matter to government’s attention.”
Speaking at the event, Nollywood actor and film director Desmond Eliot called upon government of Ugandan and all other African governments to accord as much attention to Sickle Cell as HIV and malaria.
“You only need to have had a close person suffering from this disease to be able to understand its gravity. It is more or less like AIDS, Polio Hepatitis or any other feared ailment; hence it should be treated with the same kind of force.”
He added: “We in Nigeria are lucky to speak directly to government. Other African countries including Uganda might need to borrow a leaf and call for say the Ministry of education to have a complete department dedicated to inclusion of Treatment prevention and eradication of Sickle Cells in national curricular.”
The event organizer, Ugandan American Captain Lukiah Mulumba also supported the speaker’s call to enhance research about the disease in the country.
“I did search for articles on sickle cell disease for my graduate project recently and I was surprised to find that multiple research work on different topics on sickle cell had been conducted in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania but nothing on Uganda.”
She also called for government’s increased reinforcement to fund countrywide programmes including early diagnosis, community education outreaches, research and development of evidence-based management.