Ministry of Health is preparing to commemorate the World Sickle Cells Day due on 19th June 2017.
Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder affecting red blood cells, more about making them unable to effectively carry oxygen around the body cells.
This year’s commemoration will be in Kamuli district in the Busoga region, symptoms which has emerged as one of the districts with the highest sickle cell disease burden in Uganda during the most recent national survey.
According to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Dr Diana Atwine, ambulance this year’s event will be graced by the Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who is also a Sickle cell champion.
While addressing the media on Wednesday at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Atwine noted that the United Nations, World Health Organization and Africa Union have recently declared sickle cell as a major public health problem.
“This is because it contributes substantially to under-five childhood mortality especially in Sub Saharan Africa,” she said.
“Since April 2015, over 100,000 babies have been tested and over 20 sickle cell clinics have been set up in 20 of the high burden districts”
It’s estimated that every year, up to 25,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease in Uganda with 80 percent dying before their 5th birthday.
“It’s against this background that we have embarked on a comprehensive program aiming at reducing the burden of sickle cell disease and part of it is the newborn sickle cell screening”
“On the D day we have organized a medical camp free of change in Busoga region where testing services will be available”
Currently the national sickle cell disease prevalence stands at 13.3 percent while disease prevalence stands at 0.73 percent.