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Three nodding syndrome victims give birth

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By Agencies

Posted  Monday, November 5   2012 at  14:48
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At least three girls suffering from nodding syndrome have given birth, while two others are still pregnant in Kitgum District.

The girls, all below 18 years, were raped. Three are residents of Tumangu in Akwang sub-county, while two are from Okidi, in Amida sub-county.

Of the three that gave birth, one underwent a caesarean procedure.

However, police in the district remains ignorant of their rape, raising suspicion that their parents could have been bribed to keep the crimes under wraps.

Kitgum District Secretary for Health and Education, Richard Kilama, says the district is investigating the matter.

Mr Kilama says both the parents and the communities in which the girls live have failed to disclose the identities of the men responsible for impregnating the girls.

A number of similar cases, where men sexually assault girls suffering from the syndrome, have been recorded in the northern region. Last month, a 45-year-old man was launched by a mob in Pader District for allegedly raping a 14-year-old nodding syndrome victim. There are also pending defilement cases in Kitgum Magistrates Court.

Nodding disease in the region first came to light in 2009, and has since then been reported in Lamwo, Kitgum, Pader, Gulu, Lira, Moyo and Amuru districts. 3,000 children have contracted the disease according to Ministry of Health statistics, with 200 deaths recorded.

There is no known cure for the syndrome, whose cause is also still mysterious.

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