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Family with sickle cell children stuck after fire guts their house

By Gloria Nakajubi

Added 6th July 2017 01:08 PM

Experts explain that exposure to cold air, wind, and water for people with sickle cell disease causes a painful crisis by making red blood cells in the exposed areas to shrink.

Family with sickle cell children stuck after fire guts their house

Ashiraf Sebandeke, the Executive Director of Action Against Sickle Cell Disease with Josephine Achieng and her children at their home. Photos by Gloria Nakajubi

Experts explain that exposure to cold air, wind, and water for people with sickle cell disease causes a painful crisis by making red blood cells in the exposed areas to shrink.

The recent rains in Busia might have come as blessing to many but not to this family with five children; three of whom have sickle cell disease.  A fire gutted their house a few weeks ago.

Other than the clothes they had on their bodies that day, the family of Alex Wanyama and Josephine Achieng in Buyuha village, Masaba sub county in Busia district was left with nothing. This has since left the three children with sickle cell disease vulnerable to painful attacks due to the cold weather.

Experts explain that exposure to cold air, wind, and water for people with sickle cell disease causes a painful crisis by making red blood cells in the exposed areas to shrink.

 
Two of the children were found covered up in sacks and visibly ill. They have no mattress or beddings.

Ashiraf Sebandeke, the Executive Director of Action Against Sickle Cell Disease who visited the family this week said the critical need right now is to ensure that the children have medicine and warm clothes to prevent the attacks.

"Their drugs, clothes and books were all lost in the fire. It's a very sorry state," he said.

The couple has since managed to put up a one roomed semi-permanent house that is but only a shelter from the rains.

Action Against Sickle Cell Disease is therefore calling on well-wishers to support the family.

 
In Uganda a staggering 20,000 children are born with sickle cell disease, a trend that could be averted if couples tested before having children.

 Sickle cell disease is inherited and people with this condition have their red blood cells abnormally shaped (in a sickle or crescent shape other than the flexible round shape) making them unable to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body.

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