CNN Examines Nodding Disease Among Children In Northern Uganda

CNN examines nodding disease, a seizure disorder that has affected at least 3,000 children in Northern Uganda, as well as children in Liberia, Sudan, and Tanzania. Though the disease has no known cause or cure, “there are clues,” the news service notes, writing, “WHO officials say 93 percent of cases are found in areas also with the parasitic worm Onchocerca Volvulus, which causes river blindness and is carried by the Black Fly. And many cases show a deficiency in Vitamin B6. Nutrition also seems to play an important role.”

“Doctors are using drugs for controlling epilepsy with some limited success,” according to CNN, which adds that the drugs only slow the symptoms’ progress. “After months of delay, Uganda did last week begin the drive to register cases,” although there have been shortages of epilepsy drugs in some rural clinics, the news service notes. “Uganda’s health ministry says they are doing enough. They say they have switched to a more effective epilepsy drug and they are training local health workers to deal with the disease,” CNN reports (McKenzie, 3/19).