For the past two years, however, the Charity Walk did not happen due to restrictions in movement that came with the COVID-19 Pandemic. This year, as they return, they will focus their energies on supporting the children who are suffering from nodding disease, according to John Paul Kiffasi, the Executive Director of the Foundation.
Gleeson Foundation-IGF is using its charity walk this year to raise at least 40,000 kilograms of assorted food items to support hundreds of families affected by nodding syndrome in
the Acholi sub-region.
The charity was established by Irene Gleeson, an Australian who decided to
pitch camp in Kitgum at the time when the region was at the peak of the LRA
war. After her death on July 21, 2013, the
foundation started an Annual Charity Walk every July, to continue the projects she had started in honour of her memory.
For the past
two years, however, the Charity Walk did not happen due to restrictions in movement that came with the COVID-19
Pandemic. This year, as they return, they will focus their energies on supporting the children who are suffering from nodding disease, according to John
Paul Kiffasi, the Executive Director of the Foundation.
that the foundation responded to a call by Archbishop John Baptist Odama and, after visiting the homes, they established that the families were starving with no food, yet the children are on medication that requires them to feed
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Scientists say that proper nutrition is very vital in the general
improvement of children suffering from nodding syndrome. However,
most families affected by nodding syndrome are impoverished and food insecure,
as parents take most of their time caring for their children and are left with limited
time to tend to farm or do other income-generating activities.
that the parents of the children suffering from nodding syndrome have lost hope
because many tests have been done on the bodies of their children, but no
conclusive results are taken back. The Charity Walk,
he said, is aimed at restoring the lost hope in the families and also appealing
to the government to open care centres to cater to those whose conditions are
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noted that it is saddening that many have forgotten about nodding disease, adding
that the Charity Walk is to ensure that the world is reminded that nodding disease
still exists and to support partners who will ensure that the charity walk is
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the Charity Walk.”//
Komakech, the chairperson of the Central Organising Committee of the event, who
is also the RDC of Kitgum district, appealed to the community to offer any items
ranging from clothes and foodstuffs. Komakech
revealed that a team from Gulu will start walking to Kitgum on July 21st,
for the climax of the event on July 23, 2022.
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abiro nyo makato.”//
reiterated that Uganda had forgotten about the children suffering from nodding
syndrome, and there is a need to provide special attention to them.
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of the event have set a target to raise 25,000 kilograms of maize flour, 10,000
kilograms of beans, 1,000 bars of soap, 2,000 packets of salt, 3,000 kilograms of
rice, 5,000 kilograms of soya, 1,000 kilograms of powdered milk and 2,000 kilograms
Komakech said they hope to distribute the food items to all the families in Kitgum, Lamwo and Omoro
districts, where the burden of the disease is more prevalent. He said the
items collected will be handed over to Archbishop John Odama Care centre, which
has been established to care for children suffering from nodding syndrome.
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Nodding syndrome is a condition that affects children between
5-15 years. It causes stunting in growth, progressive cognitive dysfunction,
degeneration of the nerves, and involuntary nodding of the head.
The syndrome has been afflicting children in Acholi sub-region
since 2008. Several investigations have been done to ascertain the real cause
of the ailment but so far, no conclusive results have been released. This dilemma
remains a major concern for parents whose children are suffering from the
2021, renowned Ugandan pathologist Dr Silvester Onzivua conceded that Uganda alone cannot investigate the cause
of nodding syndrome without the support of other countries.