By Francis Jjunju

19th June 2024

The Uganda Episcopal Conference through her health department the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau (UCMB) in partnership with Novartis’ Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) program have come up with a campaign to save Ugandans from Sickle Cell Disease, especially the new born.

The Campaign dubbed “shining a light on Sickle Cell Disease” will work through the strengthening of screening and early diagnosis of Sickle Cell Disease in selected Catholic Health Network hospitals in Uganda through raising disease awareness among health care workers and health facility clients—through health promotion activities.

This will include; building appropriate technical expertise and training manpower to enhance newborn screening and incorporate it into routine child health services at hospitals as well as enhanced pre-marital SCD screening-through Catholic faith activity platforms such as during pre-marital counseling sessions and support management consideration for sustainable sickle cell programs in the hospitals.

This has been revealed in a statement signed by the Deputy Executive Secretary UCMB Dr. Ronald Kasyaba, that the initiative comes as Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 2024 taken every 19th of June under the theme; Shining the Light in the Catholic Health Network in Uganda


According to the 3-year nation-wide screening survey conducted between 2015 and 2018, revealed a high prevalence of sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease in Uganda with a crude birth-rate of over 240,000 sickle cell trait births and over 17,000 sickle cell disease births occurring annually in Uganda.


In Africa, the majority of children with the most severe form of the disease die before the age of 5 years, usually from an infection or severe blood loss.


In countries such as Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, and Nigeria the Sickle Cell Trait prevalence is between 20% and 30% while in some parts of Uganda it is as high as 25%.


Thursday 20th June 2024 04:01:35 PM