The area Woman Member of Parliament for Pader district Hon CD Lowila Oketayot has expressed her dissatisfaction with a number of ministries over their failure to play roles in helping the victims of the nodding disease in Acholi sub region.
According to Lowila, Parliament in May allocated around 3.8 billion shillings towards the fight against food insecurity in the affected households and the Ministry of Agriculture received more than a third of that money, “where did has it gone?” She asked.
Lowila made the remarks during the launch by the minister for Information and National Guidance, Hon Mary Karooro Okurut, of a nodding syndrome toll free line and website last Friday at Atanga treatment centre in Pader.
Lowila noted that the ministries of education, Agriculture; gender, labour and social development were allocated big sums of money but have failed to implementation any projects on the ground.
“Some children require special needs attention to carry on with their education but the education sector has not taken any step to help such children. Stigma among the affected children still bites harder and the ministry of gender is not doing its best to address the issue. What was the budget for?” She asked.
She added that much as the medics are trying their level best to find a solution to the disease, their efforts will amount to nought, as long as the other sectors are folding their hands.
Lowila who also seats on the national committee that was established by Parliament to oversee the activities of various sectors towards the response on the syndrome, added that there have some very good work plans and ideas from stake holders, but they have been lost in the vacuum they have never been implemented, and any help has not reached the targeted persons at the appropriate time.
Minister Kororo Okurut said that the government is not yet tired and can take care of its citizens.
“The government has been open to criticism,” Karooro said. “When HIV/AIDS, for example, was recognized in the country, experts advised him [President Museveni] not to talk about it openly because it would threaten tourism, but surprisingly he did not mind.”
She added that the government is doing commendable work on the nodding disease epidemic and Ebola outbreak and that while there was no cure for the former, everything was being done to make the patients comfortable. The ministry of Information secured a toll-free number (0800707005), from Warid, to allow residents to report or monitor new cases of the nodding disease in their areas.
The LCV Chairperson for Pader District Mr Alfred Akena, added that apart from the Ministry of Health and ministry of Communication and National guidance that have camped in the region to help the affected districts, the other ministries have made no attempt to make an impact in the region.
“We need effectiveness on the ground. Communication is done, medics are doing their best. But where are the other sectors to take on their duties? He asked.
Recovering families need to be supported in the areas of farming as many parents have not been able to till their land for over a year now because many are unable to leave their sick children unattended for fear of self harm from repeated seizures.
The government says that over Shs 3 billion has been earmarked for the fight against the syndrome in the seven districts of Acholi and the funds were allocated to responsible ministries. By A Web design Company
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