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Nodding Disease kills more than 200 children in Alcholi

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KAMPALA [ACTED News] – In a recent story released by the Ugandan Parliament, Nodding Disease has killed more than 200 children since it was first reported two years ago, and has spread to all seven districts of the Alcholi Sub-region in Northern Uganda. It is estimated that over 4,000 children in the region are suffering from Nodding disease. Government health officials have been unable to diagnose the cause of the disease or find a treatment. Nodding disease is found to cause: nodding of the head, especially during meals, seizures, stunted growth and usually kills children before age 20. This disease has also been reported in neighboring countries of South Sudan and Tanzania.

The Ugandan government has sent specimen to the United States for analysis, but they have been awaiting the results for a long time. Members of the Alcholi Parliamentary group have appealed to the government to have the region declared a disaster area, so that immediate intervention by the World Health Organization and other international organizations could provide much needed assistance. However, the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness said they could not declare the region a disaster since they are still searching for a solution.