24 February 2013

Uganda: Nodding Disease Victims Improve

The condition of the nodding disease victims in northern Uganda has greatly improved after they started consuming fortified foods, the state minister for disaster preparedness, Musa Ecweru, has said.

Ecweru said the foods, donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS), has helped to curb malnutrition, which had compounded the nodding syndrome.

The children were fed on Atmit porridge formula, manufactured by the LDS Brigham Young University.

"Ninety nine percent of the children improved after being fed with this product. We did not treat them because we do not know exactly what they are suffering from, but they improved with this food," explained Ecweru.

The minister was speaking at a dinner organised by the LDS community in Kampala on Thursday.

According to Sister Robin Beckle, an LDS missionary, Atmit porridge formula contains a combination of various rich minerals and vitamins which is also helpful to HIV/AIDS sufferers.

Ecweru said following the positive results from the first consignment, another batch of fortified foods donated by LSD had been shipped into the country. The consignment will be distributed to nodding disease victims, child refugees from Congo and needy children in Karamoja.

Namutumba Women MP, Florence Mutyabule, said the same fortified food saved the lives of over 2,000 children in her district who were suffering a strange ailment that was eventually diagnosed as malnutrition last year.

She added that after observing the deplorable water sources in Namutumba, the LDS leadership lobbied their US office for a water and sanitation project worth $350,000.

It will see 100 protected springs and shallow wells constructed, as well as laundry washing bays for women and improved pit latrines in schools.

The dinner was attended by various guests, including gender state minister, Lukia Nakadama and other MPs from Busoga region.

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