Buganda Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga.

This year’s Kabaka’s Birthday run has been launched at the offices of Buganda Kingdom at Bulange, Mengo by the Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayigga.

While addressing the press Mayigga said that this year’s run is about creating sickle cell awareness. He announced that for the next three years, emphasis will be placed on sickle cell awareness under the theme ‘Fight against Sickle Cells’.

This cause has brought new strategic partners on board which include the Ministry of Health of the Central Government and Uganda Sickle Cell Foundation – an NGO that raises sickle cell awareness in the country.

According to the Ministry of Health, over 25,000 babies are born each year with sickle cell disease and over 80% die before their 5th birthday contributing to 15% infant mortality, 13.3% of the total population have Sickle cell traits and 21% are within the Buganda region. It’s against this background that the Kingdom has made a decision to dedicate this run to this cause and create awareness.

Speaking at the press conference, Airtel Uganda Managing Director Anwar Soussa commended the Buganda Kingdom for always coming up with causes and activities that positively impact on Ugandans.

“At Airtel Uganda, we pride ourselves on creating impactful partnerships which ultimately benefit the community we work in. This is the reason as to why we are very proud to partner with the Buganda Kingdom every year in order to make a difference, not just here in Buganda but in the entire country,” he said.

Commenting about the new theme, Soussa noted that “By sponsoring such a noble cause, we are hopeful that we shall educate Ugandans about sickle cells and increase on the funds to enable proper treatment of patients and research into how best we can contain it.”

The run will be held on the April 9, 2017, flagged off in Lubiri Mengo by Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi and will have participants in the 5km, 10kms and 21km categories.