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Families of Nodding Syndrome Patients Appeal for Food Aid

They argue that they are facing an uphill task to meet the feeding needs of the children. Many of these had been supported by Hope for Humans, a non-government organization which was set up to shelter, treat and rehabilitate nodding disease victims. But the centre shutdown in 2017 due to funding constraints.
Some of the family members whose children are suffering from the mysterious nodding disease during a community meeting - Photo by Dominic Ochola

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Families affected by nodding syndrome in Omoro District are appealing for food relief from the government.  The appeal was made by parents with children suffering from Nodding disease in 22 villages across the parishes of Lamola, Binya, Palaro and Lukwor. 

They argue that they are facing an uphill task to meet the feeding needs of the children. Many of these had been supported by Hope for Humans, a non-government organization which was set up to shelter, treat and rehabilitate nodding disease victims. But the centre shutdown in 2017 due to funding constraints.  

Now Grace Atim, a resident of Ajan village in Lamola parish in Odek Sub County told URN that the closure of the humanitarian centre has caused unimaginable suffering to families making it nearly impossible to feed and care for children bedevilled by the mysterious neurologic disorder.  

Cue in; Acholi “Peko wa ni…. 

Cue out …lutino wani eni.”//  

Another burdened mother, Filder Anyeko says that feeding her two sons aged 15 and 20 years has become an uphill task because the family does not have the financial resources to buy the required food supplements.     

Cue in; Acholi “Peko wa ni...

Cue out…lutino wani eni.”// 

Meanwhile, Odek Sub-County Chairperson Richard Okello Labongo divulged that the demands for food aid is overwhelming. He added that the sub-county is rallying well-wishers to rescue the affected households with agriculture inputs like seeds to ensure sustainable food security for the vulnerable families. 

Cue in; “The local community… 

Cue out…sustain their needs.”// 

Susan Akany, the Resident District Commissioner and Chairperson Omoro District COVID-19 Task Force disclosed that 270 households affected by nodding syndrome have already been mapped to benefit from food relief that the district is yet lobbying for from development partners.   

According to available statistics from the local leaders, more than five nodding disease patients have died since December 2019. Their deaths have been attributed to poor feeding habits compounded by poverty.