Mysterious child disease in Uganda
Mysterious disease that affects children devastates northeastern Uganda
by Sonya Hepinstall
Health officials have been researching the possible causes of the disease since 2009, without success…
Nancy Lamwaka has bruises all over her body because she lost the ability to recognize danger. Most mornings, Michael Odongkara takes his daughter out of the house and ties the girl’s ankle to a tree. It is not something he enjoys doing.
But the disease that causes violent seizures so decreased both the mental capacity of the child, age 12, that she no longer speaks, and often gets lost along the way. She once got lost in the woods for three days.
„It hurts so much to tie my own daughter to a tree … but I am forced to do it because I want to save her life. I do not want her to get lost and die in a fire, or walk and drown in the swamps nearby“ he said.
Lamwaka suffers from a disease that is being called
„nodding syndrome“ or zombie disease
(in literal translation). It is of unknown origin and has no cure. The authorities of Uganda estimate that more than three thousand children have been affected.