Health officials in Lamwo District are at crossroads after nodding disease signs and symptoms began manifesting in adults.
Previously, only children had exhibited the symptoms.
The district is one of the most affected by the disease. At Palabek Gem Treatment Centre for nodding disease, at least 20 adults aged between 18 to 35 years have been diagnosed with the symptoms.
The signs of nodding disease include stunted growth leading to mental retardation, nodding seizures when victims begin to eat or feel cold. Severe seizures cause the victims to collapse, leading to injuries.
Ms Dorothy Akwero, the clinical officer at Palabek-Gem, on Friday said: “Their (adults) behaviours are exactly for children and all the signs and symptoms exhibited have no difference to those of children. We are now worried that the disease could be changing its mode.”
Ms Akwero made the remarks while receiving 100 mattresses for the disease’s victims donated by Tian-Tang Group, a Chinese company.
The district’s focal person for the disease, Michael Odope, said although the symptoms and signs among adults are similar to affected children, more investigations need to still be carried out to verify the cases.
Lamwo district chairperson, Mr Mathew Akia, said the new development could worsen the situation. “Who will direct the children to the treatment centres, if their parents and guardians have also become victims?” Mr Akia asked.
Although several efforts have been put in place to find the mode of transmission and treatment for the disease by the Health Ministry and other partners, no tangible have been observed.
By Cissy Makumbi (email the author)
Posted Tuesday, May 15 2012 at 00:00