Nodding disease outbreak reported in Lira, one admitted

2640 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
A child, from Aromo Sub County in Lira district, has been admitted to Lira regional referral hospital’s psychiatric department after he was confirmed to be display Nodding disease symptoms. More cases expected.

A child, from Aromo Sub County in Lira district, has been admitted to Lira regional referral hospital’s  psychiatric department after he was confirmed to be display Nodding disease symptoms.

Nodding disease presents signs and symptoms similar to epilepsy and has been reported at Lela Dam “A” village, Otara parish, Aromo Sub County in Lira district just less than 2km from Odek Sub County in Gulu district and also bordering Pader district.
 
Nodding is a mentally and physically disabling disease that affects children between 1 and 10 years and currently is incurable. The cause of the disease is also unknown. The first symptoms of this disease are the continuous nodding of the head, failure to eat and drink and later on the child becomes stunted physically and mentally.
 
Patients of Nodding disease usually  suffers seizures and this makes vulnerable to severe injuries especially when they are in an environment that has fire, sharp objects or ponds and rivers. It renders the victims can be too weak to even cry.
 
Sophia Akidi, the victim’s mother, says her son first suffered from acute malaria in 2005. Although he was admitted to Medicine San- frontier clinic in Lira town and treated, he was not completely cured.
 
She noticed that he started nodding at the time but it was not alarming. The behavior only escalated last year. In mid June 2012, the boy was brought to Lira regional referral hospital and he was confirmed to be suffering from Nodding disease.
 
David Elich, Aromo LCIII chief told URN on Friday that many children have been suffering from the disease since 2007 but many thought it was epilepsy and never took it seriously.
 
Elich says that most children who suffer from the disease are in the areas at Aswa river bank.
According to Elich, there are about 50 children are bearing its signs and symptoms.
 
Beatrice Apong, acting Lira district health officer, confirmed the disease and said a team from Lira regional referral hospital will soon be deployed in the area to conduct a survey and asses the victims.
 
Nodding disease has affected more than 2000 children from Acholi sub region and was first reported in the district of Kitgum and was later reported also in Gulu, Pader, and Amuru among other districts.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.