Test for sickle cells before getting married-Prof. Ndugwa

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All couples intending to get married have been advised to check for sickle cells before tying the knot as an effort to curb the ever increasing cases of sickle cells in the country.

The advice was made by Prof. Christopher Ndugwa, a renowned Paediatrician and former head of MulagoPaediatricDepartment while receiving an Award for outstanding service to community from the Rotary Club of Bukoto, at Kabira Country Club on Tuesday evening.

Prof. Ndugwa who is also Chairman of the Polio Eradication Campaign in Uganda, runs a sickle cells clinic at Nakivuubo, currently considered a role- model clinic for sickle cell Anaemiain the East SAfrican region.

According to Ndugwa, Uganda currently registers 8% of children born with sickle Cells every year. He said the number could be higher considering that only 60% of children are born in health facilities in Uganda, and lack of diagnostic machines in the hospitals.

Ndugwa appealed to government of Uganda to consider availing diagnostic equipment to hospitals as means of making the identification of sickle cell cases easy.

“The only way of ascertaining the magnitude of sickle cells is for every child born, to undergo a test for the anemia. Our problem currently is the fact that most sickle cell clinics are only concentrated here in Kampala. The only other sickle cell clinic is in Jinja”, he decried.

He also appealed to the public to stop stigmatizing the sicklers saying it is a common cause of depression for the patients leading to death.

The Assistant Governor Rotary Association Mr. Salim Makeera who presented the award to Prof. Ndugwa said he was selected for his selfless and dedicated service for community at his sickle cell clinic.

He said Prof. Ndugwa is a multi-faceted Doctor who is in charge of many ailments including administering treatment to HIV-Aids and Polio patients.