Excitement As Nodding Syndrome Treatment Center Opens in Tumangu

2144 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Dr. Geoffrey Akena, the Medical Superintendent Kitgum Hospital who also coordinates efforts against the nodding syndrome, says the facility will serve at least 200 children affected by the nodding syndrome and other health conditions.

Government has deployed two health workers in Tumangu Village in Kitgum district to attend to the high number of patients of the nodding syndrome.
 
 
The two health workers are stationed at the newly built Primary Health Care center in Tumangu village in Akwang Sub County on Wednesday evening.
 
 
The health center is found about 20 Kilometers, from the main nodding syndrome treatment center in Kitgum Hospital.


Dr. Geoffrey Akena, the Medical Superintendent Kitgum Hospital who also coordinates efforts against the nodding syndrome, says the facility will serve at least 200 children affected by the nodding syndrome and other health conditions.



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Dr. Akena says it took government four years to build and equip the facility.  He said government spent 236 Million Shillings to build the hospital despite a parliamentary resolution that suspended the construction of Health Center IIs.
 

Thomas Ojok, the Acting Kitgum District Health Officer told Uganda Radio Network that the facility will improve access to health care and treatment in the area.
 


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Beneficiaries were all smiles after the hospital doors were opened to them. They told Uganda Radio Network that the facility has rejuvenated their hopes of better health care and treatment.

Santa Lamwaka, the Akwang Sub county chairperson described the health center as answered prayers for the communities. She says two elder persons donated land to host the facility after recognizing the significance for treating their children.
 
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Joe Otto, a member of the Village Health Team-VHT who reported the first case of nodding syndrome in 1997 says having the facility in the worst affected village means affected children can now adhere to treatment.

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The new health center brings to 18,, the number of health centers established in Northern Uganda to handle victims of the nodding syndrome. Dr. Akena said the facility will have nine health workers, from the current two by June.

Dr. Ruth Aceng, the Director General of Health Services in Uganda recently said scientists have found a close link between black flies and nodding syndrome, a neuro inflammatory disease. 

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.