The unexplained ailment has claimed more than 300 children and bedevilled over 3,000 others mostly in Omoro, Pader and Kitgum Districts. 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 the condition remains unknown.
in Acholi region have tasked the government to come out and reveal the cause of mysterious nodding
syndrome, 14 years since the neurological disorder was discovered in
unexplained ailment has claimed more than 300 children and bedevilled over 3,000 others mostly in Omoro, Pader
and Kitgum Districts. 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 the condition remains unknown.
bizarre ailment which the World Health
Organization – WHO says has no set of causes was first documented in
Tanzania in the 1960s, then later in South Sudan in the 1990s and in
Uganda in 2007. The world body says the disease has been
causing progressive cognitive dysfunction, nervous deterioration,
growth and a characteristic nodding of the head.
However, despite numerous and
extensive investigations in all three countries, very little is known
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 says he is
disappointed that the real cause of the
syndrome is still unknown.
Castro Odur, a parent who lost three of his
five children to the disease says that the condition has left him with curiosity. Several other parents and local leaders in the
region observe that the government has not given the disease keen interest and
the political will to find the real cause so that an appropriate cure for it is
Douglas Peter Okello Okao, the Omoro LCV
Chairpersons says that the government has in the past commissioned several
studies and scientific investigations to ascertain the cause of the disease but reports of their findings have not been known.
//Cue in..."From the time…
Cue out… things are worsening.”//
acting Omoro District Health Officer
Robert Ongom explains that the conditions of the children affected by the syndrome are still alarming. Amid resource constraints, Ongom says the disease still has
not cure and they are treating the patients only with anti-seizure tabs.
//Cue in...Our role as…
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A care and treatment centre built for the
victims by Hope for Humans, a charity organization in Odek and Tumangur in
2012, closed down in 2017 due to funding shortfalls, consequently forcing over
300 affected children home where the patients continue to nodding into their
My career in news reporting can be traced from Radio King 90.2 FM between 2008 - 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 FM under Vision Group from 2011 - 2014.
He also had one year spell as Reporter at the faith based Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm under Irene Gleeson Foundation in 2015 before joining Uganda Radio Network (URN) in 2016 as Special Projects Correspondent.
Worked for Mighty Fire in 2016 and later Wizarts Foundation (PM Live) in 2017 before being absorbed by URN as Chief East Acholi Bureau based in Kitgum, la