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Airtel Uganda has handed over UGX 200,000,000 to the Central Public Health Laboratories to bolster their efforts in eliminating the sickle cells disease in Uganda by procuring 80,000 sickle cells screening kits and extending the ongoing awareness campaign to more parts of the country.
The funds that were handed over at a brief ceremony held at the Buganda palace in Mengo, were proceeds from the 2018 Kabaka Run which attracted more than 40,000 participants. In attendance were officials from Airtel Uganda led by Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar and the Buganda kingdom team led by the Katikkiro Owek, Charles Peter Mayigga.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Somasekhar said, “We are honored to once again contribute towards the eradication of sickle cells disease in Uganda by handing over UGX 200, 000,000 to the Central Public Health Laboratory.”
“The increase in the number of Kabaka Run participants signifies that Ugandans appreciate the contribution that this initiative is making to their communities. We therefore thank Buganda Kingdom for giving us this unique opportunity to improve health standards in Uganda and providing affordable healthcare to our customers,” he added.
Owek. Charles Peter Mayigga, the Katikkiro of Buganda Kingdom thanked Airtel Uganda for their unwavering support of the Buganda Kingdom activities.
“Airtel Uganda has been our reliable partner in this journey. We started with fistula and Kitovu hospital greatly benefitted and now we are on Sickle Cells. I encourage all Ugandans to use this opportunity to have themselves checked out and know whether they are carriers of this serious disease. This will be the only way we will eradicate it for good,” 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. Last year, proceeds from 2017 Airtel Birthday Run helped purchase 60,000 Sickle cells screening Kits that were handed to the Ministry of Health to help in screening of people in different communities. The districts with the highest sickle cells prevalence rates are Kampala, Gulu, Lira, Jinja, Tororo, Luweero, Wakiso, Apac, Iganga, Mayuge, Buikwe, Oyam, Masaka and Masindi.
The Airtel Kabaka 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. Since its inception, the year has registered a steady increase in participants with 2018 registering over 10,000 participants more than the 2017 run.