Airtel Uganda, Buganda Kingdom boost Fight Against Sickle Cells
The kits were purchased from funds obtained from the April 2019 Airtel Kabaka Birthday Run. This year, the run attracted over 50,000 participants – approximately ten thousand more than 2018. According to the Buganda Kingdom, 494 million shillings was collected from the run and 200 million has gone to purchasing sickle cells testing kits that were handed over today 25th July 2019. The rest of the funds will be directed towards sickle cells advocacy and awareness that is still at the heart of reducing prevalence of the condition.
According to the Minister of Health Honorable Dr. Jane Aceng, the kits have been distributed at various health centers across the country to enable newborn screening and extended sickle cells trait screening. She thanked the Buganda Kingdom, Airtel Uganda as well as other sponsors for their co-operation over the last three years that has seen the sickle cells awareness percentage go up from 2% to 30% currently.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Ms. Remmie Kisakye the head of Brand and Communications at Airtel Uganda thanked the Buganda Kingdom for their continued prioritization of different initiatives in the fields of health for the greater good.
“We are very fortunate to partner with the Buganda Kingdom – an institution that shares our desire to ensure that Ugandans practice health seeking behaviors and ultimately prioritize being healthy. With a healthy population, development and entrepreneurship follow suit. At Airtel Uganda, we remain committed to providing the most affordable and reliable telecommunications solutions while impacting the Ugandan population by addressing concerns that are dear to their lives. Sickle Cells is one of those,” she commented, adding that theincrease in the number of Airtel Kabaka Run participants signifies that Ugandans appreciate the contribution that this initiative is making to their communities.
Owek. Twaha Kawaase the First Deputy Katikkiro of Buganda Kingdom thanked Airtel Uganda as well as other sponsors for their unwavering support of the Buganda Kingdom activities. He pledged the Buganda Kingdom’s support for health improvement initiatives in Uganda.
“We painted the royal mile red with the Airtel Kabaka Run and today, we are changing the lives of Ugandans through providing information on the condition and offering an opportunity to whoever gets tested to acquire knowledge on how they can be apart of eliminating the disease as well as on how to look after our friends and loved ones who are experiencing the challenges of living with the disease. Let me thank all partners, the Government of Uganda, the media and the general public for their support of Buganda Kingdom activities,” he noted.
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder in which the body creates sickle-shaped red blood cells, which affect blood flow in cells and organs causing pain and organ damage. Today, Uganda is at the forefront of fighting this disorder and the Ministry of Health is currently attracting international funders to increase awareness and testing.
The Airtel Kabaka Birthday Run is part of Airtel Uganda’s five-year partnership with Buganda kingdom to support four of its main annual activities including the Kabaka’s birthday celebrations, Kabaka coronation and Eid-El-Fitri.