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Bukedea Registers Increase in Sickle Cell Cases

Releasing the findings in an engagement organized by Uganda National Health Laboratory and Diagnostic Services, the program manager, Evelyn Mwesigwa, said that 249 out of the 1,871 samples collected from the students tested positive for sickle cell in their survey conducted between March and May 2022.
District team, Religious Leader and ministry officials after the meeting Photo By George Emuron

Audio 2

There is an increase in the number of sickle cell cases in Bukedea district, the authorities have revealed. This is part of the findings in the Bukedea district surveillance report for sickle cell from samples collected from Bukedea lifeline secondary school, Bukedea secondary, and Bukedea comprehensive academy schools.

Releasing the findings in an engagement organized by Uganda National Health Laboratory and Diagnostic Services, the program manager, Evelyn Mwesigwa, said that 249  out of the 1,871 samples collected from the students tested positive for sickle cell in their survey conducted between March and May 2022.

This is a huge difference from only seven sickle cell cases recorded in the district in February. Mwesigwa attributed the problem to the ignorance and negligence among community members.

“When couples screen for sickle cells before marriage, pregnancy, or childbearing, this can be avoided. But our people are reluctant and yet the disease is terrible. Its mortality rate is very high in children between the ages of 1-5 years”, said Mwesigwa.

Sickle cell is an inherited condition caused by a defect in a gene. A person will be born with sickle cell disease only if two genes are inherited- one from the mother and another from the father. A person who inherits one gene is healthy and said to be a "carrier" of the disease.

Mwesigwa appealed to the district leadership to take serious action on sensitizing the masses on the dangers of sickle cell.

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Stephen Ikodet, the acting Bukedea District Health Officer, said the statistics are alarming and an indicator of an outbreak in the district. Ikodet is worried that most of the people in the district pay less attention to guidelines especially when it comes to blood screening. 

Ateso byte

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Translation

“We as a district are going to take serious action on mobilization and creating awareness about the dangers of sickle cells," he said.

Moses Olemukan, the LC V chairperson, said that besides other priorities, the district should put more emphasis on the prevention of sickle cells.