KAMPALA – The State Minister for Primary Health Care, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu has intimated that government has no money for those affected by the nodding disease syndrome.
Ms. Moriku made the remarks on Wednesday, April 24 while responding to concerns raised by Kitgum Woman Member of Parliament (MP), Hon. Margaret Lamwaka.
In her submission, Ms. Lamwaka pointed out that it was mind-boggling for the Health ministry to fail to allocate money towards this cause yet it remains a key issue.
In response, Ms. Moriku explained that although they are aware of this problem, unfortunately, the government has no money. She added that the ministry is annually allocated UGX340 million which will be released on a quarterly basis and as such the ministry is stretched.
Elaborating further, she added that during a meeting in Gulu with parliamentarians from Acholi and Lango sub-region, it was recommended that an audit should first be done before the nodding disease funds are released. That notwithstanding, the Committee also recommended that a multi-purpose skills training centre be built to equip affected children rebuild their lives.
In his counsel, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanya, the Deputy Speaker, said the ministry ought to look for the required funds because this problem requires urgent intervention.
He was supported by several MPs led by Woman MP Mitooma District, Ms. Jovah Kamateeka who pointed out that in most cases what is incorporated in the budget gets lost, adding that the children have suffered a lot and it would be crucial for the ministry to inform the House how much money is appropriated to this cause.
Kaabong Woman MP, Ms. Rose Lilly Akello asked the minister to take the issue as an urgent one because it’s the ministry’s work to come with a proposal then Parliament can appropriate funds.
She said: “We can’t come here and look for the funds. Bring something which Parliament can pass the budget from.”
Dokolo Woman MP, Ms. Cecilia Ogwal appealed to government to consider children of families with nodding syndrome under the Atiak programme because it offers a permanent solution.
Katikamu North MP Abraham Byandala told the minister to stop creating excuses instead look for the money because human life is more important than money.