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Airtel tackles sickle cell in Kabaka's birthday run


Airtel Uganda together with the kingdom of Buganda last week announced the Kabaka birthday run 2018, to take place on April 8 from Lubiri, Mengo.

The run has become an annual affair, celebrating both the birthday of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, while providing a platform for a given corporate social responsibility cause.

L-R: Airtel Uganda’s head of brand and communications, Remmie Kisakye, Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga and Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga launch the Kabaka Run 2018 at Bulange, Mengo

Last year, money was raised around the theme ‘Fight against sickle cells’.

Over 60,000 sickle cell testing kits, bought with cash from the proceeds of the 2017 run, were handed over to the Uganda National Health Laboratory Services. It would enable conclusive testing for over 120,000 people free of charge.

“In line with the three-year theme announced last year, proceeds from [this[ run will also be directed towards fighting the sickle cell disease in Uganda,” a statement from Airtel states.

Airtel Uganda Managing Director V G Somasekhar said corporate social responsibility is central and an integral pillar of his company.

“Through our partnership with the Buganda kingdom, we have been able to change the lives of individuals and communities in Uganda. This year, we intend to continue this life-changing work by collecting funds that will be used to educate Ugandans about sickle cells, enable proper treatment of patients and fund research into how best we can contain it,” he said.

For funding and creating awareness to combat such deadly illnesses like sickle cells, the Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga, lauded Airtel and other partners, including the ministry of Health and Uganda Sickle Cell Foundation. 

“First, we worked together to tackle fistula and now we are focusing on sickle cells. With strategic and consistent partners such as Airtel Uganda, we shall win the fight against these sicknesses that are claiming lives of very many Ugandans,” he said.

Airtel today has a partnership with the Buganda kingdom to sponsor four of its most important activities; the Kabaka’s Birthday Run, Kabaka’s birthday celebration, the Kabaka’s coronation as well as Eid El Fitri. Airtel Uganda also sponsors the Masaza Cup, the kingdom’s football tournament.

This year’s run will be flagged off by Kabaka Mutebi II and will have routes of 5km, 10km and 21km distances.

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