Officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH) who were sent to Gulu and Amuru on a verification exercise following an outcry by district officials over the nodding disease; were stranded in Gulu town on arrival due to lack of funds.
Dr Joseph F. Wamala, the Epidemiologist leading the team said that: “When my team left Kampala, we were sent and told to wait for our money; the health ministry accountants department is working on our allowances and upkeep including the money to conduct detailed descriptive case-series investigation on samples.”
But Dr Onek told the MOH officials that they cannot do rapid accessibility without funding. “Have you come with the Shs50 million?” Dr Onek Asked.
Dr Onek further said that the district has had to revise its budget in order to support the district task force team set up to combat the epidemic.
He further noted that the task force had already spent Shs38 million, as they await the Shs50 million promised by the government.
Dr Haifa Namusoke, a Nutritionist said that her team needs to come up with a strategy to deliver appropriate information to the community and colleagues in health centres.
John Okwanga, the district Secretary for Education warned ministry officials, that; what the over 400 victims in Gulu needed was not only verifications and research, but also treatment.
“What your team should do is to begin giving nodding disease children nutrition to allow them to get better; we do not want only fact finding missions.” Mr Okwanga argued.
The MOH sent the medical team in response to an ultimatum issued by Gulu district officials to transport nodding victims to Parliament.
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