Kitgum Mounts Search for Children With Nodding Disease

2092 Views Kitgum, Uganda
Health officials in Kitgum have started registering all children afflicated by the nodding disease. Obote Odwar, the disease surveillance focal point person says that village health teams have already been trained to carry out the exercise. He says although the cases of the disease have only been reported in Chua county, recent surveys show that the disease is also in Lamwo County. //Cue in: iWe have already trained#i Cue out: i#like Ngom oromo.i// Obote says the district will carry out a mass drug administration exercise this month to help control the disease. //Cue in: iDuring this October#i Cue out: i#it is huge problem in the district.i// Obote says that there are several cases of children affected by the disease although he does not give, the exact figures. He believes that the nodding disease is an advanced stage of Onchocerciasis, a disease transmitted by filarial worms. He says that blood samples and skin snips of patients taken for testing are positive for Onchocerciasis. //Cue in: iWe are taking blood samples#i Cue out: i#positive result of Onchocerciasis.i// A research carried out to find the possible cause of the disease in Sudan in the 1980s reveals that the disease is connected to a parasitic worm, Onchocerca volvulus, which is carried by the black fly, which causes river blindness. The research further suggests that in Sudan, the disease was attributed to tainted food, such as spoilt plants or meat, and eating seeds covered in toxic chemicals that were distributed by relief agencies and meant for planting.