Wednesday January 4 2012

Officials to visit nodding hit areas

By Agatha Ayebazibwe

A week after the Acholi Parliamentary Group warned that they would camp at the Health ministry headquarters as the year closes to mourn the children who have since passed on as a result of the nodding disease, ministry officials have agreed to visit the affected area and assess the situation today.

Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu will lead a team of MPs from Acholi together with the director of health services, Dr Jane Achieng, State Minister for Health Richard Nduhura and other officials from the ministry.
The government team is expected to deliver medicines to health centres, carry out epilepsy check-ups, intensify training of health workers and sensitise more people on how to handle patients.

The group will also assess whether the interventions that were put on ground since the disease was first reported in 2009 have created any impact closer to finding a cure for the disease.

Areas to be visited are Pader, Kitgum and Lamwo districts, where about 4,000 children are reportedly ‘nodding’ while about 200 have died.

About 1,500 children in the Acholi sub-region are reported to have dropped out of school as a result of the disease which affects levels of concentration.

Mr Okumu said the situation has not improved but something will be done.

“Rehabilitation centres and mobile units availing the drugs and monitoring the situation are on the agenda,” Mr Okumu said.