World Sickle Cell Day Commemorated in Uganda – Sponsored by UASCRF

Posted June 21, 2012 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Charity ~ 4,990 views


The world celebrated International Sickle Cell Day on June 19th 2012, however in Uganda these celebrations were held on Saturday June 16th 2012 at Mulago Hospital sickle cell clinic. The celebrations in Uganda were organised by the US based Uganda American Sickle Cell Rescue Fund headed by Captain Lukiah Mulumba.The Uganda sickle cell community which included sickle cell children, patients, parents and well-wishers attended the event. Over 627 people including children turned up for the sickle cell party. Entertainment was provided by Sarah Short, Amooti, and Kapere of Amalula family. A sickle cell patient Bamweyana Vicent also entertained fellow patients. In addition, children enjoyed activities like face painting, bouncing castles, received children gifts, which were gladly appreciated by both the children and parents who joined the celebration this year.

During the celebration it was also noted by the representative of the sickle cell clinic at Mulago hospital Sister Alupo Florence that about seven new sickle cell cases are registered at the Mulago Sickle cell clinic every day.  Donations to help assist the victims were also received from Satellite Engineers Limited and presented by Mr. Ssesanga. Other contributions came from  Sarah Short and Amoti to help with the daily activities of the sickle cell clinic. Special thanks go to Mr and Mrs Sembatya, Sister Prossy Nabirye, Sister Alupo Florence and the management of Mulago hospital Sickle Cell clinic for their support in organizing the event.

What is sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with this disorder have atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S, which can distort red blood cells into a sickle, or crescent, shape. Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease usually begin in early childhood. Characteristic features of this disorder include a low number of red blood cells (anemia), repeated infections, and periodic episodes of pain. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms, while others are frequently hospitalized for more serious complications.

The signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease are caused by the sickling of red blood cells. When red blood cells sickle, they break down prematurely, which can lead to anemia. Anemia can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and delayed growth and development in children. The rapid breakdown of red blood cells may also cause yellowing of the eyes and skin, which are signs of jaundice. Painful episodes can occur when sickled red blood cells, which are stiff and inflexible, get stuck in small blood vessels. These episodes deprive tissues and organs of oxygen-rich blood and can lead to organ damage, especially in the lungs, kidneys, spleen, and brain. A particularly serious complication of sickle cell disease is high blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). Pulmonary hypertension occurs in about one-third of adults with sickle cell disease and can lead to heart failure.

How common is sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease affects millions of people worldwide. It is most common among people whose ancestors come from Africa; Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey, and Italy; the Arabian Peninsula; India; and Spanish-speaking regions in South America, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean. Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States, affecting 70,000 to 80,000 Americans. The disease is estimated to occur in 1 in 500 African Americans and 1 in 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic Americans.

For more information on how you can support the Sickle Cell CAUSE in Uganda please contact Uganda American Sicke Cell Rescue Fund. [UASCRF] 

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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