The Executive Director of the Sickle cell Association of Uganda, Ruth Nankaja, revealed a new strategy they are soon unveiling that will see pharmaceuticals companies in the country partner with the association to increase the distribution of sickle cell medicines to all the treatment centers in the country.
According to Nankanja the country has only one sickle cell clinic which is located in Mulago yet the disease is living among citizens in all districts of the country and she now calls upon government to set up sickle cells clinics right from health center IVs in the country to cater for the sicklers. Nankanja says that the partnership with pharmaceuticals in the country is geared at giving hope to the patients about the availability of drugs in hospital that will be used to treat the sicklers which has not been the case.
Statistics show that 17% of Ugandans have sickle cells which are very common in the northern, eastern and central districts of Ugandan
- It is estimated that 33,000 babies are born each year with the disease of whom 80% die before celebrating their fifth birthday.
- The Bamba people in the south west of Uganda carry 45% of the gene which is the highest trait frequency ever registered in the world.
- There is inadequate data concerning Sickle cell disease due to lack of funds for research. Nothing is known despite the many deaths that are seen daily.
- The Sickle cell Clinic in Mulago (National Referral and teaching hospital) has over 7000 patients registered with it and on average sees 200 patients 5 days a week. Sadly this is the only Sickle cell clinic and it is a day care centre operating from Monday to Friday yet Sickle cell patients get attacks at any time.