Uganda’s Needs Today

As we’ve been following up on the KONY 2012 campaign, we’ve learned that the extreme violence portrayed in Invisible Children’s YouTube video has not been a reality in Uganda for over half of a decade. This afternoon, somebody made the point that such portrayal dilutes the public image of a country that is, indeed, enjoying relative peace and growth. By the same token, it was also noted that the people of Uganda are facing true difficulties and that attention should be paid to current issues rather than issues of the past.

One issue highlighted on is nodding disease, a neurological disorder that causes consistent and debilitating seizures. One woman whose children have been afflicted with this illness explained that they are not only stigmatized in the community and unable to care for themselves, but that “When I go off to farm I tie them to the tree so they don’t get injured. If they walk off they don’t know where they are going they just keep walking and get lost.” There have been many cases of children seizing near cooking fires and becoming horridly burned because they cannot get themselves out of the fire.

While there is no known cure for this disorder, medical treatment is in its early stages and widespread coverage of this issue through social media & the Internet could just bring the necessary pieces of the puzzle together; “We see many people coming now to try to investigate,” said the mother, “So we have a little bit of hope. We are praying that these children will be cured.” Rather than KONY 2012, why not spread the BBC report on nodding syndrome through this site?

2 responses to “Uganda’s Needs Today

  • wstewar

    When researching Uganda yesterday in class I came across a lot of information and news about Nodding Disease. It seems like such a strange disease to encounter. One of the articles I read said that kids experience the seizures associated with the disease when they are either eating or if they are cold. I couldn’t find any information about the cause of the disease, but I hope that this problem can be resolved through research. I agree that this is an important topic to raise awareness on (although we should probably take some lessons away from the Kony 2012 situation.)

  • rbain1

    How abundant is the disease in the country? And what causes it? I wonder how it developed…Raising awareness is definitely important but I’m curious about the bigger health implications, and what could use funding to prevent it in the future.

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