MP pushes for babies to receive compulsory sickle cell testing

Matungu MP Peter Oscar Nabulindo addressing the press during a past event. PHOTO/COURTESY

Peter Nabulindo, a member of parliament for Matungu, wants newborns to receive compulsory screening for sickle cell and hemophilia diseases.

Nabulindo suggested in a Notice of Motion that the government should implement policies requiring screening in all public health facilities.

He claimed that required screening will aid in building a database to direct money and other actions meant to stop the diseases and lower newborn mortality rates as a result of the disorders.

“The government should conduct awareness and sensitisation programmes on sickle cell and haemophilia diseases and support research and training for medical personnel on the two diseases,” he noted.

According to Nabulindo, there are an estimated 14,000 newborns in Kenya who have sickle cell and hemophilia, with the Western, Nyanza, and Coast regions having the greatest prevalence rates.

Due to underfunding and a lack of data on the prevalence of the deadly sickness, according to Nabulindo, the number of baby deaths brought on by these diseases is continuing to rise.

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