The Leader of Opposition in Parliament has faulted government for neglecting families affected by nodding syndrome by allocating little funds towards finding a solution to the escalating situation in Northern Uganda.
Winnie Kizza said government’s action of giving only a cup of posho and beans to the victims was dehumanising since the handouts cannot provide lasting solutions to the affected families.
Ms Kizza had led a select committee of Parliament during a fact finding mission of the effects of Nodding syndrome in Pader District on Thursday March 22.
“The issue of them lining up to be given a cup of beans and posho is not going to solve the problem because it is dehumanising them more,” Ms Kizza said.
She said the only way government can make the people who are taking care of children with Nodding syndrome better is to empower them with agricultural inputs like seeds and ox ploughs.
She wondered why government doesn’t want to take nodding syndrome as a national calamity urging that the children with nodding syndrome should be categorized as special need because they need special attention.
She observed that many of the school-going-age children having nodding syndrome have dropped out of school due to stigma from other pupils.
Also in Gulu district at Lapuda primary school the senior woman teacher, Jennifer Alaro said two girls with nodding syndrome in primary seven classes at the school have completed dropped out of school due to stigma. She said the area surrounding the school has many children with nodding syndrome who can’t attend school due to their severe conditions.
Meanwhile Frederick Angura (Tororo South), who was on the select committee said it unfortunate that some men take advantage of nodding syndrome to rape and impregnate girls.
According to Angura, a report by CARITAS an organization working in Pader District, indicates that an average of five girls between the ages of 9 and 15 with nodding syndrome are raped on a weekly basis.
Angura appealed to the ministry of Justice to establish a magistrate’s court in Atanga Sub-county in Pader District where cases of rape are very high. He also blamed the police for tolerating rape in the area by giving bond to the suspects without forwarding them to court.