Nodding Syndrome Organisation, Hope for Humans To Close In August


A child  suffering from the Nodding Syndrome

Hope for Humans, an organization that has since 2012 been taking care of and rehabilitating children suffering from Nodding Syndrome in northern Uganda is set to close next month.

In a statement emailed to Acholi Times on Monday, Hope for Human’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Suzanne K. Gazda M.D wrote.

‘‘Our Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to dissolve Hope for Humans in August of 2017. As you can imagine, this decision was rooted in much consideration, preparation, and prayer’’.

The organization said the children it had been taking care of had improved and that most of them will be handed over to their government for care.

Uganda’s health services, especially in the rural parts of the country such as where the children suffering from Nodding Syndrome live are inadequately funded and without sufficient personnel.

Hope for Humans, however, paints a more optimistic picture of the fate of the children.

‘‘Many of our children are now living productive lives to where they have been mainstreamed back into a public school or job,’’ the organization said in the statement.

Hope for Humans says since 2012, it has treated over 300 children at is facility in Odek in Omoro district.

Nodding Syndrome is a neurological illness infects mostly children aged between 5-15 years. Its characteristics include epileptic seizures, saliva dripping from the mouth and retarded cognitive abilities, among others.

It has mainly been reported in the northern Uganda districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Lamwo. It is estimated that as many as 3,000 children were infected by the disease.

There is much debate about its origins and cause. Some scientist have said it’s caused by the Black Fly. Some in northern Uganda have linked to the outbreak of the disease in northern Uganda to chemicals used during two decades of conflict between the Ugandan government and the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels. But so far, there has not been scientific evidence to back this up.

The outbreak of the disease was first reported in northern Uganda in 2009. In 2012, Kitgum woman Member of Parliament thrust the national spotlight on children suffering from the disease when she ferried 25 of them to Kampala for treatment