One month later, Nancy Lamwaka registers some “Improvement”

Nearly two months ago, Nancy Lamwaka, looked fragile, with little hope of ever getting better as the world searched in vain for a cure to Nodding Disease.

Nancy was hopeless, tied for over 13hours on a tree trunk and lived an inhuman life as  Echwalu Photography  reported then (Nodding Victim: Tormented 12-year-old girl lives like pigs)

Her condition was not helped with the fact that Uganda had no definite answers to her cause. And so did the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) team in Atlanta, which is possibly, the world’s center of medical research grappled with samples in their labs hoping to find remedy for the disease which continued to cause mayhem to the children of northern Uganda.

Like Scott Dowell, director of the division of global disease detection and emergency response of the Centers for Disease Control would say in a February media brief at the US mission Uganda; “We have a long list of things that are not causing nodding disease. We still don’t have a definitive cause.”

In that confusion, desperate parents prescribed anything they thought would better their children, from random drugs to shroud local herbs.

Frank Odongokara, Nancy’s father had not lost hope though.  He kept on believing in a miracle to save his daughter.

Today, she’s registered some progress. My first impression on seeing her only for the second time in a month was her appetite. It had remarkably improved. Closely seated in a neat circle of siblings, she opened ground nut shells while easily eating the seeds without getting attacked by the nodding syndrome.

She’s irregularly tied on the tree and can now walk freely though under close guard of an adult while her then rotting fingers are slowly healing. Her previously pale skin is getting smooth today.

Nancy’s aggressive use of sign language has also impressed her parents. Take an example of standing next to a pot if she needs drinking water and stretching her hand for food whenever she’s hungry.

“There is some improvement from the time Medical Team International came with some drugs for her. The doctors have been giving us a variety of drugs (tablets) to experiment. Depending on which one works, we are going to continue like that.

“She’s still attacked by the nodding syndrome. She does not miss a day but the impact is no longer as serious as it used to be. Today she nodes maybe twice a day, as opposed to about 10 times she used to be attacked,” Odongkara says, seated under a tree his daughter used to be tied.

Just like Odongkara, the mother, Grace Akumu, is happy to see these changes but does not want to be carried away as long as the definite cure remains a mystery.

“It really feels good to see my daughter improve but her mental status continues to worry me. She still cannot talk, rarely response to orders, cannot do anything constructive and always looked disturbed that’s why I still tie her whenever am living her alone home,” Grace Akumu said.

Part of this progress is a result of the ministry of health opening up three nodding disease treatment and screening centers’ in the northern Ugandan districts of Kitgum, Pader and Lamwo, where the illness has been identified.

For the Odongkara family, any progress, however meager is good for now considering the fact that there is still no cure for the nodding disease.

Thank you so much Sussane Possing for them poem. I hope she will get to read and understand it one day.And a thank you, goes to all who sent me with comfort messages.

Photo Of the Day: Two Faces

TWO FACES: A displaced Sudanese boy closely stares at the butt of a gun held by a Ugandan soldier in MOYO district approximately 455Km (283 miles) northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Heavy security had to be deployed in the contested border area of Lafori to bring calm after Sudanese held and released nine Uganda members of Parliament. Ugandans in the area replied by blocking the Moyo-SouthSudan Highway on top burning houses belonging to South Sudanese in Moyo town.

Photo Of the Day: International Womens Day

WOMEN’S DAY: Women are seen walking to the market in Moyo district, in north-western Uganda. As the world commemorates the International Women’s day, women continue to stride further to overcome problems, centuries old. Ugandan women for example continue to deal with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Poverty, gender disparities, disease, lack of education among others.

Photo Of the Day: Lonely Tree

Photo Of the Day :Hawking Banana’s

A woman goes about her business hawking bananas in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics survey, there are 1.8 million informal businesses in Uganda. The majority of informal businesses in Uganda are in the agricultural sector (27%) followed by trade and services (24%) while mining and quarrying (1%) as well as Fishing (1%) accounted for only two percent of the total number of businesses.

Photo Of the Day:White Water Rafting

Porters carry a rafting boat at Itanda falls on River Nile in Jinja, 80km east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala in February, 2012. White Water rafting, a major tourist attraction is being threatened by the ongoing government commitment to build more power dams on the Nile to counter the country’s current power shortage. White water rafting on River Nile is a class five course, attracting foreign exchange, together with other tourist attractions earnings of over $600m annually

You are lightening; Subdued, I moan like thunder….

I attended a poetry recital yesterday, where Ugandan poets were joining their American counterparts in commemorating the last day of the month-long U.S celebration of Black Month History.

Dr. Suzan N. Kiguli recites her poems at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. She captivated the attendants with her poem "I AM BACK HOME" which talks about cultural shock on returning from the UK

I got particularly interested in two readings. One, a Ugandan love poet from celebrated Ugandan poet, Beverly Nambozo.

And the other, a typical ender to an African political gathering (Conference), composed and read by Prof. Timothy Wangusa. But first, Beverly Nambozo

Gwe Wange (You are Mine)

You pound my buttocks like the engalabi

I slap the walls to your rhythms, sharp, unforgettable

You are lightening.

Subdued, I moan like thunder,

Your sweat, robs me of my sanity

Am in a dream, I shouldn’t wake,

Iam in a nightmare

Ssebo gwe wange

You are rough like a jack fruit,

But inside, ripe and sticky like the yellow seeds

You hold two balls of tropical sunshine over my head, tickling my hair

Am matooke lying over your charcoal stove

Boiling in anguish, bubbling in delight

Ssebo gwe wange

And from Prof. Timothy Wangusa


Consequent upon the Extraordinary Colloquim

Of All-Africa Think Tank of Academic Associations

Concluded this historic day in the city of Abuja

Its hereby recommended and forthwith resolved

That strategic organs of the Think Tank be set up,

Equitably spread across the African Continent

And situated on all principal university campuses

To research and promote the ethos of Africanology

The Amphitheatre of Anti-Governmentology in Algeria

The Bureau of Bankruptciology in Burkina Faso

The Centre of Senselessology in Sierra Leone

The College of Corruptionology in Kenya

The Ethnic-house of Extremisimology in Ethiopia

The Institute of Insolventology in Eritrea

The Library of Liquidationology in Libya

The Mission-Mansion of Misinformationology in Malawi

The Naira-nest of Nepotismology in Nigeria

The Polytechinic of Povertology in Pemba

The School of Sectarianology in Somaliland

The Senior Seminary of Swindology in Senegal

The Synagogue of Scarcitiology in Southern Sudan

The Temporal Temple of Terrorismology in Togo

The University of Ubiquitoniquitology in Uganda

The Zonal Zoo of Zerologicology in Zimbabwe

The director of each designated research organ

Shall be a pre-eminently published intellectual,

Prize-winning analyst and proven ideologist

Of permanent Western World Predatoriology

And Perennial Third World Strangulationology

Village Markets

Photo Of the Day:CPS Kampala

Photo Of the Day: HIV/AIDS Mother

An HIV/AIDS positive mother lines up for routine monthly check up with her baby, also HIV/AIDS positive in Kiboga district, 132km (82 miles), northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s largest city. There are an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in Uganda, which includes 150,000 children while an estimated 1.2 million children have been orphaned by Uganda’s devastating epidemic