Fifteen countries are represented at the symposium
This year, Uganda is hosting the sixth international symposium on sickle cell disease in Central Africa.
The conference which is the largest that has been organised on the continent, seeks to address the sickle cell disease burden in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It will run from 25th to 27th May under the themes; accessible treatments, new technologies and innovations and break the silence.
Charles Kiyaga the chairman of the sickle cell disease Research Network in Central Africa (REDAC) 2016 Uganda steering committee said that in preparation for the conference the Director General on Heath duties, Ruth Jane Achieng appointed a team of 30 members.
The team has been sitting every week since November last year to ensure the success of the conference.
Meanwhile Kiyaga also disseminated findings of the screening that was started in April last year in seven districts. These are; Gulu, Lira, Kitgum, Oyam, Dokolo, Jinja and Kampala.
"We have screened 50,000 babies in the past 5 months," he said.
However Kiyaga noted that ignorance is still a big problem in addressing the problem and so sensitization has to continue.
"When we were doing screening in the districts, it was a pity that most of the parents did not know that their children were sick," Sarah Opendi the state minister for Health added.
Opendi went on to say that the disease has been neglected in most countries including Uganda.
"We cannot continue talking about lack of resources, resources are there if we prioritize, " she said.
Kiyaga hopes that the conference will also attract support for the declaration for sickle cell in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"Currently there is a declaration on non-communicable diseases but we need one on sickle cell as well," he stated.
Fifteen countries are represented at the symposium.