Mysterious Disease Hits Uganda
January 4, 2012 Leave a comment
As Ugandans celebrated Christmas and New Year, most people in the northern parts of the country were seeking answers about a mysterious disease that has mainly affected children.The head nodding disease which mostly attacks children aged between five and 15 has killed over 50 children in the last three months alone.
“The major symptom of the disease is the continuous nodding of the head” said community officer Jacob Okello.
“Over 2400 children in the districts of northern Uganda are suffering from the disease.
“Some of the victims faint after several minutes from the continuous head nodding”.
There are fears that the little known disease might escalate into an outbreak amid admissions by authorities that they have no knowledge of the ailment.
“The nodding disease which is at times called the nodding syndrome is a little known disease in Uganda,” said Gregory Obulu, a medical officer in northern Uganda.
“It is alleged that it even hit South Sudan in the 1980′s.”
According to Obulu, some health workers have associated the disease with epilepsy.
Joseph Wamala, an official at Uganda’s epidemic and surveillance department of the Ministry of Health said the nodding disease could be a new type of epilepsy.
He said it could be associated with a parasitic worm known as Onchocerca Volvulus, which is also known to cause river blindness.
“Studies are being carried out to get facts on that” Obulu said. ..