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Health facility appeals for sickle cell screening machine

The County Government of Kakamega has been urged to provide a screening sickling test machine in Mumias East health facilities that can detect and diagnose sickle cell disease which is prevalent in the region.

Once availed the patients should be screened for free or at a reduced cost.

Speaking to KNA, the clinical officer in charge of Shianda health center Simwa Tatuli noted that sickle cell anemia and iron deficiency are among the common cases detected among the residents of Mumias East, Matungu and some parts of Navakholo.

For now, they refer most of the cases to Kakamega General Hospital to do a sickling test.

Simwa added the machines will also assist in doing genetic engineering to ensure medics detect carriers of the disease early and recommend treatment.

“By doing this, they shall be able to reduce the cases up to 99 per cent, so as to have an informed mind about the disease”, he added.

Kakamega launched a sickle cell and hemophilia care clinic in April this year at the Kakamega general hospital to reduce the burden of patients traveling far to seek treatment.

The ministry of health and the county government in collaboration with the Kenya Hemophilia Association has been able to train and conduct capacity building for over 400 healthcare providers countrywide to handle hemophiliac diseases.

Kakamega General Hospital has a total of 20 healthcare providers trained to handle hemophilia and sickle cell patients with another 40 spread out in facilities across the county.

Sickle cell anemia is a form of inherited blood disorder leading to sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell anemia affects one’s red blood cells, turning them from round flexible discs into stiff and sticky sickle-looking cells.

By Purity Simiyu

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