Child Dies Of Nodding Syndrome Amidst Drug Scarcity In Kitgum

A child suffering from nodding disease

Another child has died of nodding syndrome in Kitgum district amidst claims of lack of drugs for treating the mysterious disease.

A child suffering from nodding disease
A child suffering from nodding disease

The deceased has been identified as Aber Betty, 17, a resident of Tumangu village, Lamit Parish in Akwang Sub County.

Otto Joe, the chairperson of the Tumangu village Health Teams, says Aber died two weeks ago due to lack of drugs to control recurrent seizures. He says the village ran out of drugs three weeks ago.

Aber’s body was laid to rest last Thursday after a team of health workers from the Ministry of Health conducted postmortem to ascertain the cause of death and collect samples for further investigations.

Otto says Aber is the 15th child that Akwang Sub County has lost to the dreaded disease; out of which 11 died from Tumangu alone.  He says the situations of nodding syndrome has been heavily politicized that the exact numbers of dead is concealed from the public.

But Luka Nyeko, the chairperson of District Nodding Syndrome Taskforce, says only 11 children have died in the entire district since the disease was reported in Kitgum in 2011. He says the battle against the syndrome is largely won because of the swift response government took. Nyeko says four of the children died from hospitals where they were receiving treatment while another 7 died from their homes.

Nyeko says another 4 were raped by and maintains that the Ministry of Health has supplied enough drugs to all nodding syndrome treatment centres. He says even food has been delivered in plenty over the Christmas holidays.

Most of the children dying from nodding syndrome fall in water or fire while their parents are out in gardens or away from home.

At least 5,000 children are suffering from Nodding Syndrome in Kitgum district, mainly in Tumangu, Kitgum Matidi and Okidi Villages.

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