Press release: State House: 06th March 2012
President Yoweri Museveni has reiterated government’s commitment to eradicate the “nodding” disease affecting children in the north of the country.
The President today paid a visit to 25 patients suffering from the nodding disease who are under intensive care and treatment at Mulago Children’s hospital.
The disease is suspected to be caused by the same germs that cause river-blindness.
President Museveni, who consoled the patients and wished them quick recovery, explained that the government’s intervention will include killing all insects responsible for the transmission of the disease by massive spraying as well as treat all people at the same time.
“The government will kill insects by spraying and treat all people at once not treating this one and leave the other. It is better to treat everybody to finish all the germs”, he said.
The President also urged patients to complete the dosage prescribed by the doctors to avoid re-emergence of the disease.
“It is not like HIV/AIDS. This disease is curable. We have the drugs to treat river-blindness,” he noted.
President Museveni, who facilitated Kitgum Women MP, Ms. Beatrice Anywar, to transport the affected children to Mulago Hospital for further management, justified the move, explaining that this would enable doctors carry out further investigations on the disease. He added that this would also help doctors find other ways of feeding the affected children as their appetite is completely destroyed by the nodding disease leading to severe malnutrition and death.
According to Professor James Tumwine, who, together with the Minister of Health, Hon. Jane Ondoa, received the President at Mulago Hospital, the nodding disease is believed to be caused by the same germ that causes river blindness. He said the germs affect the electric flow in the brain and once it becomes abnormal, it leads to a type of epilepsy or nodding disease that destroys the appetite of a child leading to severe malnutrition.