Sickle cell awareness fundraising campaign launched

The Uganda Sickle Cell Rescue Foundation(USCRF), the Doctalk show, Ministry of Health and CTI Africa have in honor of the worldwide sickle cell awareness month launched a fundraising drive in which they will also provide free screening services.

In Uganda, 20,000 babies are born each year with the genetic defect and 20 percent of the Ugandan population have the genetic trait of sickle cell disease and sicklers suffer from a number of complications including anemia, bacterial infections, severe physical pain, strokes and general organ failure but symptoms vary from person to person.

According to Tracy Balita Nagawa, the USCRF Executive Director, improve patient care, they intend to raise funds to further testing, treatment, research and development of sickle cell disease.

“Together with CTI Africa, we want to use these funds to create a registry for all sickle cell warriors. This will help us give specialized health care, promote awareness and testing, and provide telemedicine services using Life Health CTC by availing 10,000 smart phones,” Nagawa said.

The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr.Diana Atwine said the campaign has come at the right time when there is need for screening before marriage and for the new born babies.

“Studies showed the prevalence of sickle cell trait at 13.3%. This calls for pre -marital screening for sickle cell and newborn screening. With movement limitations put in place because of the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic, access to a number of services including medical care has greatly affected sickle cell patients. We therefore welcome these partnerships to support us as the government may have resource constraints and competing priorities,”Atwine said.

David Mihigo, the head of Public Relations and Partnerships at CTI Africa said the company was happy to be part of the efforts to deal with sickle cells disease.

“We are glad to join USCRF to improve healthcare access and affordability for sickle cell patients in Uganda. Life Health CTC reduces the financial burdens associated with disease management for patients,” Mihigo said.

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease that affects the red blood cells.

Due to their sickle cell-like formation, the red blood cells cannot efficiently after getting the disease which

The disease is not curable but if it is detected early, the symptoms can be reduced and without treatment, children die before the age of 5.

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