10 December 2012

Uganda: Cases of Sickle Cells On the Rise

The sickle cell clinic in Mulago Hospital has registered an increase in the number of patients.

Speaking during the Christmas party for sickle cell patients at Mulago on Saturday, the head of the clinic, Florence Alupo, said they treat between two to 10 new sickle cell cases everyday.

She said by 2005, they had registered 4,000 sickle cell patients in the clinic but the number had risen to 8,770 this year.

Alupo said the overwhelming number of patients does not match the limited number of staff. She added that the clinic has only five nurses and one doctor.

Sickle cell disease refers to blood disorders of which sickle cell anaemia is the most severe and commonest form worldwide. Abnormal haemoglobin turns the red blood cells into crescent or sickle shapes, which are sticky and stiff. The shapes hinder the smooth flow of blood, leading to severe limb pain and damage of organs.

Alupo revealed that the majority of the patients at the clinic are from Kampala and its surroundings.

"We intend to train health workers across the country so that they can handle cases of sickle cells in their areas," she said.

She warned parents who take their sick children to traditional healers, saying the disease is inherited from parents and they should instead seek medication from hospitals.

Copyright © 2012 New Vision. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.