Uganda opens nodding disease clinics to treat children with mysterious illness (VIDEO)


Some of the 12 children of Martin Ochen, five of whom suffer from the mystery illness Nodding Disease, at their family home in Tumangu village, Kitgum district, northern Uganda. Scientists are struggling to find the cause of the ailment which the Ugandan government says has affected nearly 4,000 children in northern Uganda and claimed the lives of 200 in past few years.


Michele Sibiloni

Uganda has opened new clinics to help the thousands of children suffering from nodding disease, a mysterious syndrome that can be fatal.

The clinics are located in the country's north, where nodding disease is most common, the BBC reported.

The BBC said that some 200 children arrived for treatment Monday at clinics in the districts of Kitgum, Pader and Lamwo.

Health workers can't offer a cure for the disease, but are helping children to manage the symptoms.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 4,000 children in northern Uganda have been affected by nodding disease in the last few years, and 200 have died.

Thousands of children in South Sudan have also fallen ill.

GlobalPost's correspondent reported that nodding disease causes a "baffling array of symptoms." 

Children are gripped by uncontrollable seizures in which their heads move up and down, and they are unable to eat properly. Many afflicted children become stunted physically and mentally as a result.

"Despite investigations by local and international researchers, experts are still largely mystified by the disease. The cause remains unknown and there is no cure," GlobalPost reported.

More from GlobalPost: Nodding disease: Uganda battles mysterious ailment

The video below explains the devastating effects of nodding disease in Uganda:

Nodding Syndrome Devastates Uganda
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