By Richard P. Okiria
I commend the action of Kitgum Woman MP Beatrice Anywar for bringing to the limelight the plight of children affected by nodding disease. I saw a in the media picture of one of the affected children lying naked, dirty and I asked myself: Where is our humanity? That picture represented the plight of many other nodding children left to fend for themselves. Reading in the press, I realised that this disease has been around for a while.
Why couldn’t the government allocate money for this disease when we hear of billions shilling being stolen by government officials? It took Anywar to ferrying these children from Kitgum to Mulago Hospital to finally draw the attention of the President to the plight of these children. The President reportedly advised that the children be taken back to Kitgum but there are hardly any health facility worth talking about in the district. It was disheartening to learn that the WHO Representative reportedly criticised the act of bringing these children to Mulago Hospital. But there is no infrastructure in Kitgum to deal with this plague even after it has reportedly killed over 200 children?
State Minister for Health Nduhuura reportedly said recently that ministry officials were on the ground in Acholi training health workers on how to handle the disease. He also said treatment centres would be opened up in Kitgum, Lamwo and Pader districts on top of outreach activities. But where has the government been all along?
Mr Okiria is a Ugandan living in the USA