Concern as Nodding Syndrome Survivors Commit Rape, Murder

Leaders in Pader district are concerned over the wild temperament of persons (previously) suffering from nodding syndrome.  

During the commemoration of World Sight Day in Kitgum Municipality on Thursday, the chairperson of the district, Retired Colonel Fearless Obwoya, revealed that the survivors are raping women and a few days ago, one of them strangled a woman to death.

The retired colonel appealed to the Ministry of Health to take the matter as an emergency and open a treatment center to contain the dangerous patients. 

The LC 3 Chairperson of Angagura sub-county, Stephen Freddie Okello, said the persons suffering from nodding syndrome become so wild when recovering from a seizure.

Okello reports that a 22-year-old survivor who murdered a woman over the weekend, first attempted to kill his brother who was bathing but he was overpowered, then he went and waylaid another man, before strangling his sister-in-law on Independence Day.

He revealed that on Tuesday, the suspect’s family had to marry the body of the deceased, before she was buried, as the Acoli tradition demands.

Okello said the suspect has been detained at Pader Central Police Station but is reportedly giving the police officers a hard time.

Okello said families affected by nodding syndrome are having a hard time handling the patients because they are stubborn, always want things done their way, and do not accept differing opinions.

Justine Ocen, the vice chairperson of Pader District, said the district needs to get advice from technical people on how to handle patients who have a very high libido.

In 2017, a study presented to Parliament indicated that persons suffering from nodding syndrome have a very high sex drive and are very riotous because of the drugs they take daily. 

Uganda Radio Network could not readily establish how many people have been raped or murdered by the survivors of nodding syndrome.  

Dr. Charles Olaro, the Director of Curative Services at the Ministry of Health pledged to take the matter further.

Pader district has 680 people suffering from nodding disease, the highest number of all  districts affected by the syndrome.

Reports indicate that by March 2013, at least 1,834 children in northern Uganda were living with nodding syndrome. 

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