The multi-million treatment Centre was built in 2012 by defunct Hope for Humans, a non-government organization which was then operating in parts of northern Uganda. However it was closed down in 2017 due to funding constraints.
Five children have lost their lives to nodding syndrome in Omoro District over the past three months, as the sole diagnostic centre for the region remains closed.
treatment Centre was built in 2012 by defunct Hope
for Humans, a non-government
organization which was then operating in parts of northern Uganda.
However it was closed down in 2017 due to funding constraints.
The centre, which was located at Tumangur
village, Labongo-Akwang Sub-county in Kitgum District offered wide-ranging medical care
to sufferers of Nodding Syndrome. Its services included therapeutic attention and rehabilitation,
nourishing meals, special needs education, and personal hygiene. The centre supported more than 300 children during the time of its operations.
Local authorities and
affected families told URN that the centre’s closure has been detrimental
to dozens of children who perished by drowning in water while others died out
of starvation due to poor feeding by their parents.
Filder Anyeko, a resident
of Ajan village in Lamola parish of Odek Sub-County who lost one of her two girls
to nodding syndrome disclosed that it has been an uphill task to monitor,
treat and feed the children.
Acholi//Cue in; “An, lutino
Cue out…lokom lutin ni.”//
Grace Atim, another
mother from the same village regrets the closure of the centre recalling hiw she lost her daughter after she wandered from home and drowned in water
while attempting to cross a stream.
//Cue in; “Acito anongo
Cue out…peko wa ni tek.”//
Sub-County Chairperson Richard Okello Labongo says they have registered
five deaths since December 2019 which can all be attributed to the closure of the centre and biting poverty
faced by affected households.
//Cue in; “The local
Cue out…we are losing them.”//
Nodding syndrome was first reported in Kitgum in 2009 and later it spread to Gulu,
Pader and Lamwo districts affecting over 3,000 children. In Omoro, the disease was first detected
and in March, 2012, from Aromo Wang Lobo village in Lamola Parish, Odek Sub
A 2018 statistics from the district health department indicated that 18
children succumbed to the disease which had affected 254 children at the time.
Health Organization – WHO reveals that Nodding Syndrome is a
condition with unknown cause and classically affects children aged
between 3-18 years old. The condition causes mental dysfunction,
undersized growth and dozing of the head.