Nodding syndrome patient drowns in Pader

The body of Patrick Okwera after being retrieved from a borrow pit in Pader district this morning.

A nodding syndrome patient has drowned in a borrow pit at Akuyam Village in Bucota Parish, Angagura Sub-county in Pader District.

Patrick Okwera, 22, and resident of Deng A village drowned yesterday (Sunday) when he had gone to bathe from the borrow pit at around 5pm.

The Angagura Sub-county LC 3 Chairman, Mr Lazarus Obbo Kidega, told our reporter that residents retrieved the deceased’s body from the water today (Monday) at around 10am.

The chairman explained that the borrow pit was dug by a Chinese construction company that was polishing the road but never filled it.

“I totally blame the Chinese for this mess because they were supposed to fill the borrow pit after excavating the gravel- something they didn’t do!” Mr Kidega explained

However, the politician did not specify whether the community that entered into agreement with the Chinese company had in the memorandum of understanding that the borrow pit would be refilled.

Mr Kidega described what happened as” very unfortunate to the nodding syndrome patients” adding that majority of them who are mature at times want to be free and thus makes it hard to control their movements.

Audio: Kidega on drowning (English)

A case of drowning under reference SD 10/6/12/2020 has been registered at Angagura police post.

In November 2020, a 16-year-old girl suffering from nodding syndrome also drowned at Abilonino village.

What is nodding syndrome?

Nodding syndrome is an epileptic disorder occurring among certain rural African populations in onchocerciasis (river blindness) endemic regions.

It is characterised by repeated head-nodding seizures, developmental retardation and growth faltering.

In northern Uganda (Acholiland), the first cases of nodding syndrome were diagnosed retrospectively in Kitgum district around 1997 to 1998 and were later reported from the neighbouring districts of Lamwo and Pader  

Nodding syndrome remains a public health problem in Uganda where it is associated with high morbidity and mortality, severe socio-economic consequences, and social exclusion.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here