By Titus Kakembo
“More than 33000 children are born, every year, with Sickle cells and eighty percent of them die before they celebrate their fifth birthday,” said the Uganda Sickle Cell Association (USA) founder Ruth Nankanja Mukiibi.
“They suffer with painful episodes that last from an hour to several days.”
“These pains can affect the bones of the back, the chest hence leading to destruction of red blood cells and causing swelling of the toes, fingers and delayed growth.”
Dr. Gerald Mutungi of Mulago Hospital demystified the disease often associated with super natural powers. “Twenty percent of Ugandans (6M) are at the risk of having a child suffering from Sickle Cell,” said Dr. Mutungi.
“Contrary to belief the disease is not caused by a curse, a bad omen or limited to a particular tribe. It is inherited genetically.”
Dr. Sarah Kiguli cautioned that Sickle Cell victims can reduce their plight by having a balanced diet and avoid living in places with extreme temperatures.
“These with early treatment and shunning doing strenuous exercises can make one’s life a lot better,” said Dr. Kiguli.
“Sickle Cells is an inherited disease affecting the red blood cells. If both parents have it, chances, are high the children will suffer from it.”
To crown the Sickle Cell campaign, USA in conjunction with Bank Of Africa (BOA) are having a Car Boot Sale, March 23, 2013 at Legend Rugby Club.
“The proceeds from selling what you no longer want and buying what you want will go towards purchasing a Hemoglobin electrophoresis machine,” said BOA executive director Arthur Isiko.
“The bank considers health as one of the key development initiatives with in our community.”
The fundraising will be coupled by a blood donation exercise conducted by The Red Cross.
“Come and buy cars, lap tops, telephones, toys, tablets, cutlery and furniture” said Isiko.
“Thousands of Kampala residents and visitors are expected to throng to the rugby ground to spend responsibly.
That money is to enable construct a 24 hour care center to support the over whelmed existing Mulago Hospital unit.”