Kampala, Uganda. On Sunday, thousands of people gathered at the Buganda Royal Palace in Mengo to participate in the 2019 Airtel Kabaka Run. The eager runners patiently awaited the flag off by the Kabaka of Buganda Ssabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II and at a few minutes past 7am, set off for the 5, 10 and 21 kilometers races that comprised the marathon.
Top Kingdom officials including the Royal Family, the Prime Minister of Buganda, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, local politicians, musicians and sponsors, attended the event.
Speaking at the run, the Kabaka of Buganda encouraged Ugandans to test for the Sickle Cells Disease and know their status which will help to curb the number of deaths associated to the disease. He also thanked the sponsors led by Kingdom partner Airtel Uganda for their dedication to this very necessary cause.
Sponsored by Airtel Uganda in a partnership deal to sponsor four of the main Buganda Kingdom activities, the 2019 Kabaka Run registered a record-breaking attendance, estimated at over 55,000 runners and well-wishers who included the elderly, children and the disabled.
Also at the run was a tent pitched specifically for on ground sickle cells testing which, according to the Airtel Uganda Public Relations Manager Ms. Sumin Namaganda, received and tested thousands of people.
“We felt it necessary to utilize the prestigious run to test the participants and their families and we are happy that they heeded to our call and came to get tested. Eliminating sickle cells starts with testing and knowing your condition,” she noted.
Last year, Airtel handed over UGX200, 000,000 for Sickle Cells Advocacy from the Kabaka Run and Namaganda is optimistic that this year, a lot more will be realized and many more lives impacted.