BY GLADYS LAKAREBER
KITGUM: MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2021
As sweet Christmas carols played out, ushering in the festive mood in Tumangu village, Labongo-Akwang sub-county in Kitgum district, Archbishop John Baptist Odama of the Northern Province welcomed the children affected by nodding syndrome.
The Archbishop, clad in standard clerical robes, prayed for the children to gain proper recovery from the mysterious disease.
He counseled the caregivers of the children, applauding them for their perseverance and later served lunch to the children.
The Nodding Syndrome is a mysterious disease whose outbreak was first detected in Tumangu village in 1998 when three children developed unusual seizures, uncontrolled nodding and continuous drooling of saliva.
However it was in 2002 that the government started paying serious attention to the nodding Syndrome.
To-date the disease has affected more than 3,000 children in northern Uganda and subsequent research on the exact causes has not yielded a concrete result and the disease remains with no definite cure.
Archbishop Odama promised to make hosting of Christmas Carols for the people affected by nodding disease, an annual event to be organized under his organization, the John Baptist Odama Care Centre.
He urged the government to channel support to all the families of the affected children through his organization saying the organization is ready to undertake that cause.
Grace Freedom Kwiyucwinyi, the State Minister for Northern Uganda who was the chief guest at the event reiterated the government’s commitment to support the children and their families.
She said the Office of the Prime minister will be giving iron sheets to all the families to roof their houses so that the risk of the children unconsciously setting grass thatched houses ablaze is eliminated.
Kwiyucwinyi tasked all the area councilors to identify children with Nodding syndrome so that they can be given vocational training in courses like knitting, tailoring and others.
The minister commended Archbishop Odama for organizing the Christmas treat for the children and families of people affected by Nodding Syndrome.
She handed over 2,000 kilograms of maize flour, 1,000 kilograms of beans, 300 bags of sugar and tea leaves and over 200 Jerricans for the households affected with Nodding Syndrome.