The Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Omoro County in Gulu district Hon Jacob Oulanyah has accused legislators from Acholi sub region of politicking the nodding disease epidemic.
He said that it was politicking that has led to the boycott of IRS by communities in Kitgum and Pader districts, yet IRS is aimed at eradicating malaria in the districts of northern Uganda.
“The spirit behind the malaria eradication must be supported, I am a politician, but others are taking politics to another level,” Oulanyah said.
“People are coming up and saying that nodding disease is a political disease, I am ashamed,” he added.
He noted that if politicians and communities from the region are not willing to support the residual spraying programme by government, “then we are finish, what we have confirmed today is that IRS is a very effective weapon to fight malaria that Kitgum and Pader districts should support.”
Oulanyah said that he is also very disappointed to note that since parliament passed the Shs6 billion supplementary budget for programmes targeted at fighting the nodding disease, that money has never been release.
“Nodding disease has become political, I have shared debate in parliament several times on this nodding disease, but the money has not reached the affected children, and even after visiting Odek Sub County which is in my area where children are suffering with nodding disease and after assuring them, no money has reached.” Oulanyah said.
The LCV Chairman for Pader district Mr Alfred Akena blasted officials from the Ministry of Health for turning children affected with nodding disease into a money making venture.
“Last week Inter-ministerial officials visited my district, when we gave them district staffs to accompany them in the field, they dodged the district officials, and on completion of their work; left without reporting the findings to the district,” Akena said.
Akena questioned why over 700 children affected by nodding disease syndrome in his district continue to go without treatment.
He added that health ministry officials are only interested in seeing the number affected children go up so that they can make more money out this tragedy.
He added that the Indoor Residual Spraying has done nothing to reduce the rate of malaria infections and that last week when he visited Pajule Health Centre IV and Top Care Health Centre; there were over 200 children seeking treatment for malaria.
He wondered why it was only in Acholi sub region that this programme is carried out every year.
Patrick Oryema Okello, the Chairman LCV for Nwoya district accused the government and the International Community of not doing enough in responding to the epidemic.
“Why can’t the international world react to the nodding disease syndrome the same way they treated it in Mexicom, when it broke there some years ago,” Oryema said.
He asked the Country Director for USAID John Mark Winfield why DDT is not being used instead Bendocarp.
However, Dr Okello Martine from the Ministry of Health said that DDT is now outdated and cannot fight malaria.
The Minister of Health Dr Christine Ondoa said that the government of Uganda supported 10 districts in northern Uganda in fighting malaria; however it was now considering the extension of IRS to all districts in the country.
Ondoa promised that her ministry will dispatch medical treatment for nodding disease victims.
She dismisses claimed by politicians from the region that nodding disease is a political weapon to fight the Acholi community.
“I will not respond on the inter-ministerial visiting to nodding disease affected areas, since my health ministry falls under the Prime Minister’s Office, I will forward the matter to the PM office,” Ondoa said. By A Web design Company
By A Web design Company