This is from an article in 2012 concerning nodding disease:
The African nation of Uganda certainly has it’s share of problems including war, poverty and disease. However, one disease is literally making parents in certain districts in the north of the country tremble in fear.
The mysterious disease affecting areas of Northern Uganda that many outside the region have never heard of, but what is known as “nodding disease” has killed at least 200 children and caused heartbreaking symptoms in 3000 others.
Imagine children having epileptic-like seizures, repetitive nodding of the head, mental retardation, stunted growth and death, sometimes from secondary accidents like drowning and burns.
Often times the symptoms of the disease can be triggered by the cold weather or food.
Nodding disease is still present in Uganda and here are two updates from Kitgum and Gulu:
According to the Kampala Observer, six children are being hospitalized for nodding disease in Kitgum hospital, 3 from Kitgum and 3 from Pader district. “A nodding case detection and management is still ongoing at the hospital and as a district. As a hospital, we still receive cases. As I speak right now, they are about six in the ward – literally nodding cases but only three. Others are epileptic who got burned and we admit them,” according to Dr Geoffrey Akena, the acting medical superintendent of Kitgum hospital.
Akena added that the condition of the children is steadily improving. He says the district is still struggling to manage at least 518 cases of the disease that was first reported in Kitgum in 2012 and is grappled with a problem of limited number active health workers.
In Gulu district, a Monitor report states Mr Michael Cankara said they have not received funds to treat and care for nodding disease patients in the past year.
“On several occasions, we lack fuel and we end up using personal monies to reach out to the children who are recovering from the syndrome since they need close monitoring,” he said.
Gulu district, which once had 26 medical personnel specifically trained to deal with nodding disease patients, is now down to only 15–to care for the 326 cases of nodding syndrome in the district.
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