Clerics call for more government help

Monday November 26 2012

By Moses Akena

Religious leaders in Acholi Sub-region have called on the government and the international community to increase support for children suffering from the nodding syndrome.

The clerics, under their umbrella body, the Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative, commended the government for what it has so far done, but said it falls short of efforts needed to combat the syndrome.

They said reports about shortage of funds, drugs, food and other supplies, show that a lasting intervention is not in sight.

“We want to appeal to the government to prioritise this nodding disease and support the areas affected. We thank them for what they have done, but this is not enough,” said Bishop Johnson Gakumba of the Northern Uganda Diocese, who is also the chairperson of the group.

The Acholi Khadi Sheikh Musa Khalil called for help from the international community.
The two clerics, among others, were preaching at a deliverance prayer organised by the African Council of Religious Leaders at Atanga Health Centre III in Pader District last week.

While calling for repentance in the affected areas, the clerics condemned some residents who had sought help from witch doctors, saying medical treatment was the ultimate way. They also criticised people alleged to have defiled the victims.
The clerics called upon the donor community to reconsider their decision of withdrawing support over corruption.

The calls come amid reports that money meant to pacify the war-torn region and Karamoja was misused at the OPM.