The Woman Member of Parliament for Kitgum Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar and Kilak County Member of Parliament in Amuru district Hon Gilbert Olanya are suing the government for doing too little in assisting victims and combat the nodding disease syndrome in Acholi sub region.
According to the petition which has been filled against the Attorney General on behalf of the nodding disease patients at the High Court in Kampala: “The disease remains unchecked and not managed between 1997 and 2012 when the ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation came up with a report which recommended for surveillance tools and monitoring the disease and also training health workers to manage the disease in 2012.”
The legislators also accuse the government of withholding from the public report findings released by the Centre for Disease Control two years ago, for which they are seeking its discovery.
The MPs further contend that together with other MPs, they have repeatedly been blocked by Parliament to have the Acholi-sub region declared a disaster area so as mobilisation for much needed assistance can be realised.
“The plaintiffs together with other MPs have attempted in vain to declare the affected area a disaster area to drum up for help for the affected community. This was particularly done by a motion moved by Ms Alice Alaso and seconded by the first plaintiff (Anywar) but blocked by government and yet has previously declared disaster area for cattle disease affected areas,” reads part of the documents in court.
The case by Anywar and Olanya comes in the heels of another case in Gulu High Court where a Civil Society Organisation; Health Watch- Uganda has also dragged the government to court accusing it of not doing enough to handle the disease in the northern Part of country.
Although the government has established outreach centres in Pader, Kitgum and Lamwo, with “trained health personnel” and researchers, to supposedly combat the syndrome, the legislators and parents of children affecting by the disease say that the centres are ill equipped and are not providing the required treatment to the affected people.
Many parents have since turned to traditional methods to for medication.
It is characterized by head nodding, epileptic seizure, neurological deterioration, cognitive or mental retardation among others.
This leads to the dropping of the head and fixed stare with associated inability to coordinate the motions, later head nodding in a trance which is associated with drooling saliva and loss of weight, rocking which leads to the hitting of the face on the ground during a trance like seizure state.
Anywar and Olanya want government to compensate affected families and those who have lost family members due to the nodding disease. By A Web design Company
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