The Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has injected shs494m in Sickle cell prevention and treatment campaign.
This was revealed by the Second Deputy Prime Minister (Katikkiro) Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa while giving the accountability of the funds raised from Kabaka Birthday Run this year.
During his speech on Wednesday at Bulange Mengo, Mr Nsibirwa said the Kabaka instructed that all the Shs494 million collected during his 2019 Birthday Run be used to support the Sickle Cell patients and awareness campaigns in the country.
"The Kabaka has earmarked Shs200million to be given to central laboratories to buy testing kits so that people are tested free and also get to know their sickle cell status. He has also allocated Shs294million to support awareness campaigns and public health initiatives because we all know that sometimes our people land into problems for lack of information about sickle cells and that's why he has given the bigger budget to go for awareness so that people know where to go for free services and treatment given by the Buganda Kingdom," he said.
He added that 60 per cent of people in Uganda will not have Sickle Cell if the public awareness is handled well and he asked all the stakeholders who have partnered with Buganda Kingdom in in the fight to continue until they have kicked Sickle Cell out of Buganda and Uganda at large.
The Minister for Youth Sports and Welfare Henry Moses Ssekabembe said Buganda is trying to address the issue of Sickle Cell because the statistics show that over 21 per cent of people living in Buganda have traces of the disease.
"This is a serious problem to Buganda and Uganda and that's why next year we need to double our efforts as Buganda Kingdom to continue fighting for the lives of our people who are suffering from Sickle Cell. He also thanked the Sickle Cell Foundation, Airtel Uganda, Events ware House, Majestic Brands, Rwenzori Water among others who are working with the Kabaka to fight the disease.
Airtel Uganda Head of Brand and Communication Remmie Kisakye said over 50,000 people participated in the 2019 Birthday Kabaka's Run and that's why they raised the money which has been announced and delivered to Buganda Kingdom.
"As Airtel Uganda we hope to double our efforts next year to raise the number of participants from 50,000 to 100,000 which will give us a mileage in the fight against Sickle Cell.
The Kabaka Birthday Run is an annual fun run around the Mengo Palace. It officially started six years ago as a means for the Kabaka to highlight and mobilise his subjects towards health causes. First, proceeds went towards fistula until three years ago when attention was turned to Sickle Cell.
Currently, an estimated 33,000 babies are born annually with the Sickle Cell disease of which, 80 per cent die before the age of five years, according to the Ministry of Health statistics.