PLE Candidate Drowns Following Nodding Seizure Attack On His Way To School

A 14 years old primary seven candidate Tony Odokonyero, who was suffering from the Nodding disease on Monday drowned when he was gripped by seizure attacks on his way to sit for his Primary Leaving Exams (PLE) in Arom Stream, Odek Sub County, Gulu district. 

Odokonyero who was on his way to Aromo-wangolobo Primary School developed a seizure and fell in the nearby stream and died. 

The headteacher of the school Mr Santo Okello, confirmed the incident and reported that the body was  found after a long search was mounted when he failed to turn up for his first paper. 

Aromo-wanglobo Primary School holds a total of 214 pupils suffering from the syndrome out of the 532 pupil population; and they are being treated at Odek Health Centre IV.  The disease continues to inflict untold suffering in the sub-region. 

“There is some slight improvement among the pupils but am worried of the performance of those who are sitting for their final exams,” Okello said. 

Due to the mental retardation caused by the syndrome, the Ministry of Education has failed to formulate a special needs program to address the needs of affected children.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 9,000 children have been affected by the disease and over 400 have so far lost their lives as a result. 

Meanwhile, at least three girls suffering from the disease 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 have faigned ignorance over the rape allegation, raising suspicion that their parents could have been bribed to keep the crimes under wraps. 

Mr Richard Kilama, the District Secretary for Health and Education in Kitgum said that district authorities are investigating the matter and that 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 region. Last month, a 45-year-old man was lynched 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, but is believed to have started when the population was confined to the camps.  The disease has has since been reported in Lamwo, Kitgum, Pader, Gulu, Lira, Moyo and Amuru districts.  Although medical experts have made some slight progress in controlling seizures, there is no known cure for the syndrome, whose cause also remains mysterious.

Border Disputes, Myth Threaten Census in Gulu, Amuru The on-going border dispute between Gulu and Amuru Districts is likely to disrupt the National Population and Housing Census, officials have warned. Ever since Amuru was curved out of... Read more
Gulu Prison Inmates Push Government To Grant Conjugal Rights Prison inmates at Gulu Central Government Prisons have appealed to the government to allow their spouses to visit them so that they are able to enjoy their conjugal rights. During a... Read more
Another UN Vehicle Stolen From South Sudan Recovered In Lamwo Police has recovered another stolen United Nations vehicle parked in the bushes in Lamwo district weeks after it went missing from a UN Mission base in Juba, South Sudan. This the... Read more
Nwoya Farmer Demands shs252 Million Shillings From Total For Damages Douglas Olwoch, a local farmer in Pabit village, Purongo Sub County in Amuru district is suing the oil exploration giant Total E&P and demanding US$ 100,000 (UgSh 250M) in compensation for... Read more
Mobile Phone, Motorbikes Improve Referral in Rural Gulu, Amuru Mobile phone and motor bike operators are slowly saving dozens of lives that require emergency medical attention, especially those that fall ill at night in remote villages in Gulu and Amuru where... Read more
Uganda’s Ambassador In South Sudan Blasts Visa Defaulters The Ugandan Ambassador to South Sudan Maj. Gen. Robert Rusoke has blasted Ugandans who go to South Sudan without securing a visa and other legal travelling documents, warning that the government of... Read more
I Was Beaten, Sodomised And Then Shot At By NRA – Namukora Male Rape Survivor Speaks Out Men and boys who were allegedly raped by the advancing forces of the then National Resistance Movement (NRA) now UPDF still find it very difficult to come to terms with their dehumanising... Read more
Gulu District Boss Decries Parliament’s Failure To Debate Compensation of War Victims The LCV Chairman for Gulu district Mr Martine Ojara Mapenduzi has decried the manner in which parliament is currently handling issues related to the compensation of war... Read more
Ten Massacre Sites Unravelled In Northern Uganda Justice & Reconciliation Project (JRP), an indigenous group which empowers conflict-affected communities to... Read more
I Was Beaten, Sodomised And Then Shot At By NRA – Namukora Male Rape Survivor Speaks Out Men and boys who were allegedly raped by the advancing forces of the then National Resistance Movement (NRA) now UPDF... Read more
Nwoya Farmer Demands shs252 Million Shillings From Total For Damages Douglas Olwoch, a local farmer in Pabit village, Purongo Sub County in Amuru district is suing the oil exploration... Read more
Mobile Phone, Motorbikes Improve Referral in Rural Gulu, Amuru Mobile phone and motor bike operators are slowly saving dozens of lives that require emergency medical attention,... Read more
Border Disputes, Myth Threaten Census in Gulu, Amuru The on-going border dispute between Gulu and Amuru Districts is likely to disrupt the National Population and Housing... Read more
Uganda’s Ambassador In South Sudan Blasts Visa Defaulters The Ugandan Ambassador to South Sudan Maj. Gen. Robert Rusoke has blasted Ugandans who go to South Sudan without... Read more
Gulu Prison Inmates Push Government To Grant Conjugal Rights Prison inmates at Gulu Central Government Prisons have appealed to the government to allow their spouses to visit... Read more
Gulu District Boss Decries Parliament’s Failure To Debate Compensation of War Victims The LCV Chairman for Gulu district Mr Martine Ojara Mapenduzi has decried the manner in which parliament is currently... Read more
Another UN Vehicle Stolen From South Sudan Recovered In Lamwo Police has recovered another stolen United Nations vehicle parked in the bushes in Lamwo district weeks after it went... Read more
Seven Perish In River Nile Boat Accident At least seven people and a child have been confirmed dead after the boat in which they were travelling in capsized... Read more
Agago Youths Beat Catechist to Pulp Over Transfer Of Parish Priest A catechist in Kalongo Mission, Kalongo Town Council in Agago district, is nursing his wounds after a group of angry... Read more

Support Acholi Times

Features

Why Lamogi Eat Bats
Monday, 23 June 2014
Food will always differ by culture and region – in some regions,... Read More...
With declining external funding, Lacor hospital looks to local community for support
Monday, 23 June 2014
St Mary’s Hospital Lacor, one of Uganda’s leading hospitals has... Read More...

Opinons

Northern Uganda Must Wake Up To The Realities Of The Nodding Syndrome
Monday, 04 August 2014
In an effort to highlight the plight of children and families... Read More...
Ebola: When The Cost Of Service Is Death - Remembering Dr Lukwiya
Monday, 04 August 2014
Two American doctors battling the current Ebola outbreak in West... Read More...
UK, Uganda Can Work Together To Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
Monday, 04 August 2014
The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is turning into a global crisis.... Read More...

Acholi Times Exclusive Interview

Acholi Legislators Are Not Resisting Development – Hon Reagan Okumu
Monday, 03 June 2013
The chairperson for Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) and Member of... Read More...
Gilbert Olanya - Member of Parliament for Kilak County, Amuru District
Monday, 04 July 2011
Gilbert Olanya was elected Member of Parliament (Independent) in the... Read More...
Ronald Reagan Okumu, Member of Parliament for Aswa County - Part 2
Monday, 23 May 2011
 In the last part of our interview, Hon Reagan Okumu talks to Acholi... Read More...
Ronald Reagan Okumu, Member of Parliament for Aswa County
Monday, 16 May 2011
 Acholi can recover from the war and the current economic crisis... Read More...

Witness

Small Scale Farmers Being Exploited By Unscrupulous Middlemen
Monday, 30 June 2014
A group of small scale women farmers in Amuru district have decried... Read More...
Nwoya Albino Pupil Needs Urgent Help With Eye Sight – Dr Watmon
Monday, 25 August 2014
Following an appeal by Acholi Times, Dr Watmon Ben, a eye specialist... Read More...
I May Have Infected Over 100 Men With HIV – Prostitute In Gulu
Monday, 16 June 2014
One of the longest working prostitutes in Gulu town, Pamela Anek... Read More...
From Grace to Grass: Police Officer Rotting Away In Hospital Appeals For Wheelchair
Monday, 10 March 2014
Seated beside his wife Mrs. Joy Ogwang and their son Jolly Joe Odongo... Read More...
Male Sexual Violence Survivors in North Still Suffer in Silence
Monday, 21 July 2014
Men and boys who experienced sexual violence during the brutal... Read More...