Thousands of Ugandans gathered at Lubiri, Mengo to take part in the fourth annual Kabaka birthday run. More than 30,000 brave runners including, the young, elderly, politicians, the business community sprinted the 5km, 10km and 21km races, in the event that is the chief fundraiser in the fight against Sickle cells in Uganda.
The run, that was flagged off at 7.00am by the Kabaka of Buganda; Ssabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, attracted top kingdom officials including the Katikkiro of Buganda, Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga, Prince David Wasajja and Princess Katrina Ssangalyambogo.
Prince David Wasajja, who was also the Chief Runner of the day completed the 21 KM race in just above 3 hours while Princess Katrina Sangalyambogo ran 10 kilometers and finished in 58 minutes.
The Kabaka Birthday run is part of Airtel Uganda’s three-year partnership agreement with Buganda kingdom to support four of its main activities including the Kabaka’s birthday celebrations, Kabaka coronation and Eid-El-Fitri.
Addressing the crowds after the run, Katikkiro of Buganda Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga thanked the participants for their enormous support to the Kingdom and its causes.
“Every year, more and more Ugandans participate in the Kabaka Run and this is an indication that the causes we choose are important to their lives. Allow me to thank Airtel Uganda for always standing with the kingdom not only for the Kabaka Run but for many other kingdom activities,” he said.
Airtel Uganda’s Managing Director; Mr. Anwar Soussa said it is part of the Company’s social responsibility to contribute to the well-being of the society in which it operates.
“We believe in the power of coming together for a greater good. In partnership with the Buganda kingdom and all Ugandans, we are sure we can reduce on the infant mortality rate caused by sickle cells and empower people with information that will enable them to identify, treat and even prevent the sickle cells disease,” he noted.
“I encourage Ugandans to do checkups before marriage in order to reduce on the percentage of people who can easily be infected by sickle cells disease,” he added.
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.