A local NGO working in Gulu district has said that due to the vacuum created by the lack of appropriate response from the government, an NGO has opened up a treatment and nutrition centre at Aromo-Wang Lobo, which has already started distributing food nutrition to the victims of the nodding disease.
“We have registered 130 nodding disease children so far and 180 epilepsy cases that we are going to treat in our centre in Aromo-Wang Lobo, we have built this place in two months, we are relying on the health ministry to give us drugs for the nodding disease children,” Dr. Gazda said.
She said the treatment centre will also be used for carrying out research on the causes of nodding disease syndrome because there are two prominent ripple effect of the disease, poverty and nutrition.
“We need to address both of those problems to develop this disease; we await the report from the CDC (Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta in the USA). Evidence on Onchocerciersis river blindness is not strong enough to adduce causation” Dr. Gazda said.
She added that, “We believe that the nodding disease syndrome is not contagious.”
Dr. Gazda said that the centre will work in line with the resolution of the international conference on nodding disease held in Kampala recently.
Mr. James Olango, 68, one of the community elders from Aromo wang Lobo, said that during the years of internment in camps, there were some cooking oil containers, which had no tread marks on them, and some distributed food, which contained crushed bottles and particles of metal. He said that these could be the likely cause of the unexplained, strange and mysterious diseases in the region.
The district Focal Point Person for Gulu, Mr. Ojok Selestino, dismissed Mr. Olango allegations of poisonous food items and said that the cause of the nodding disease is yet to be established.
Ojok who represented Dr. Paul Onek, Gulu’s District Health Officer (DHO), told the parents of the nodding disease victims that the new nodding disease centre will be a focal point for training Village Health Teams (VHT) and medial health workers,who lack training and awareness.
He said that although the Gulu Hope NGO had build the treatment centre, it still needs to work in partnership with the government because “the centre cannot contain over 400 nodding disease children in Odek sub county by itself.” He suggested that another centre be opened at Odek health centre III.
Ojok called on residents and parents to support the centre and ask for more humanitarian assistance from other donor organisation to come to their aid. By A Web design Company
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