Acholi Region Leaders Cry Out For Government As Nodding Disease Hits Again With Over 300 In Alarming Conditions

Acholi Region Leaders Cry Out For Government As Nodding Disease Hits Again With Over 300 In Alarming Conditions

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By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The deadly nodding syndrome disease has hit the Acholi region once again with currently more than 175 children are receiving care for the nodding syndrome in Omoro, another 100 in Kitgum, and more than 50 in Pader district but the exact cause of this mysterious condition is still unknown.

This has prompted leaders in the Acholi region to task the government to come out and reveal the cause of the nodding syndrome, saying14 years since the neurological disorder was discovered in the country, the government has never come out with a clear report on the cause of this deadly disease.

The World Health Organization-WHO carried out investigations but said the Syndrome has no set of causes when it was first documented in Tanzania in the 1960s, then later in South Sudan in the 1990s, and then in northern Uganda in 2007. WHO said the disease has been causing progressive cognitive dysfunction, nervous deterioration, stunted growth and a characteristic nodding of the head.

However, despite numerous and extensive investigations in all three countries, very little is known about the cause. Some researchers have attributed it to the parasitic nematode which also causes river blindness and to the blackfly. But Michael Rachkara, the chairperson of Akoyo village in Odek sub-county said he is disappointed that the real cause of the syndrome is still unknown.

The acting Omoro District Health Officer Robert Ongom noted that the conditions of the children affected by the syndrome are still alarming with no resources adding that the disease still has no cure and they are treating the patients only with anti-seizure tabs.

A care and treatment center built for the victims by Hope for Humans a charity organization in Odek and Tumangur in 2012, closed down in 2017 due to lack of finances consequently forcing over 300 affected children back home and eventually die with no medical care.

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