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Saturday, January 28, 2017


A victim of nodding disease tied to a tree to prevent self-injury during seizure

A victim of nodding disease tied to a tree to prevent self-injury during seizure

Whether the origin of nodding disease lies in Rwanda, Tanzania or the former Belgian Congo, doesn't matter at all to those who suffered from the disease, died, or their relatives. 

Why should Michael Odongkara takes his daughter Nancy Lamwaka outside the compound every single day and tie her ankle to a mango tree?

Tieing your son or daughter's leg to a tree is something inhuman to every parent but the disease violently causes seizures to his twelve-year-old daughter, diminishing her mental capacity that she no longer talks and often wanders her off. 

Once, she was lost in the bush for three days. Because the victims lose their sense and aren't able to talk to. So, tieing her to a tree keeps her safe since she can't move around to be injured.

“It hurts me so much to tie my own daughter to a tree but because I want to save her life, I am forced to. I don't want her to get lose and die in a fire, or walk and get lost in the bushes, or even drown in the nearby swamps and no government official or journalist hears us,” said Michael. 

Daughter Lamwaka suffers from nodding syndrome, a disease of unknown origin and no known cure, which Ugandan authorities estimate affects more than 3,000 children in the country. Out of six hundred existing diseases, the origin of six of them is not known by the WHO and amongst these six are for instance Aids, Ebola and... Nodding Disease.

Brief History Of Nodding Disease

Since it was first described in 1962 in Tanzania, the frequently fatal disease has been blamed particularly on viruses, pesticides, fungi, vitamin B6 deficiency, monkey meat parasites. Again monkeys are to blame but most certainly not by biowarfare agent mycotoxin.

A new special report in Science details the more recent outbreaks of the condition in South Sudan and Northern Uganda and helps to refine the list of possible causes they say.

Nodding Syndrome (NS) is a neurological disorder of unknown etiology and pathogenesis, reported occurring mainly in the Western Equatoria State in South Sudan, in several districts in Northern Uganda, and in Mahenge district in Tanzania.

The total number of NS cases in South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania is unknown but is relatively small, particularly when using the restrictive 2012 World Health Organization Nodding Syndrome case definition. 

In Uganda, March 2013, the second most NS-affected country, the estimated number of children with probable NS in the three northern Ugandan districts were (1.687), but this is almost criminally underestimated.

African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control

Because the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control estimates there are currently 36 million people with onchocerciasis. Therefore, if 1% (equivalent to the approximate excess prevalence over non-endemic areas) were to develop epilepsy, the number of excess cases of epilepsy due to onchocerciasis would be on the order of 360,000. 

The hypothesizes is that most of this excess in the prevalence of epilepsy is potentially preventable by increasing the coverage of ivermectin treatment and by maintaining it over many years. If it is confirmed that the increase of this drug risk of epilepsy, this will be an additional argument to strengthen onchocerciasis elimination plans scientists think. But increasing of ivermectin means also profits for the pharmaceutical plant.

Nodding Syndrome (NS) A Neurological Disorder Of Unknown Etiology

Various infectious, toxic, nutritional, psychosocial, and genetic causes for NS have been proposed, but none have been confirmed. But, is it? If we compare it with our publications on:

About the involvement of mycotoxin during the (civil)wars in this region, we know there is more involved than what scientists suggested. Most striking is the fact that Kitgum and Pader are the most NS-affected districts of Uganda, probably because of the wars and the application of mycotoxin by Belgium and the USA, in Congo and Rwanda, yet the disease has affected Tanzanians as well.

Scott Dowell Director at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control

“We have a long list of things that are not causing nodding disease,” said Scott Dowell, director of the division of global disease detection and emergency response at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as he told Reuters last year.

Dowell and his team have made many trips to Uganda to investigate this strange syndrome. They used EEGs and MRIs to study the brains of patients while they were going through a head-nodding bout. 

“Something is badly wrong with the brains of these kids, and it's physiological,” he told Science. But these tools did not lead them to a definite answer, although most viruses or prion (also the cause of  BSE) disease (also from eating monkey meat), fungi and pesticides seem to be losing steam as likely explanations.

Again Origin Of Nodding Disease

As said, nodding syndrome was first documented in Tanzania as in early 1962. Fifty years later, researchers still don't know what it is.
"We still don't have a definitive cause. We have ruled out through our field studies and our laboratory testing, more than three different hypothesized causes including 18 virus families with hundreds of members,” said Dowell.

In our opinion, he is absolutely right because mycotoxin isn't a virus but a biowarfare agent, difficult to interpret, as it was unclear how many participants had been previously treated with ivermectin and how frequently. 

Most of the patients (60.8%) had visible microfilariae on microscopic examination of the skin biopsies, but the mean microfilariae density was low, 3.6 mf/mg, potentially because of prior ivermectin treatment. But when you ask ordinary people about their experience in Uganda and Tanzania, they have a very convincing argument against the possibility that ivermectin could be also causing cases of  NS.


Ivermectin is a notorious drug which can likely cause nodding disease problems if used as medication. Since ivermectin distribution has been consistent over time, current community microfilariae load in these countries is probably not high enough to cause a large number of children to manifest a severe form of NS. 

In Mahenge District, Tanzania, where ivermectin distribution started in 1997, in an erratic way, NS prevalence is not only much lower than in Uganda and South Sudan, but manifestations seem to be less clinically severe as well. 

In the Western Equatoria state in South Sudan, although the distribution of ivermectin started in 1996, the many treatment interruptions in its subsequent use, during periods of conflict, are presumed to have facilitated the NS epidemic as stated by S. Komyangi and R Colebunders. So, why the difference? Is it the interruption of administering ivermectin?

Multi Drug Resistance MDR 1 and 2

The MDR1 gene responsible for the production of P-glycoprotein, a substance which is to ensure that all kinds of toxic substances may occur in the brain cells only in low concentrations. For instance in humans with an MDR1 gene defect, the substance P-glycoprotein can not make it, so that certain substances (in any case, the above medications) can not be kept out of the brain cells. As a result, the concentration of these substances in the brain cells is so high that they may be toxic and cause nodding disease problems.

Not even one scientist is stating that some patients are overly sensitive to ivermectin. Besides the usual sensitivity know all patients leading the ingestion of small amounts of ivermectin in previously sensitized patients to paralysis, coma and even death. This sensitivity finds its origin in the absence of the MDR-2 enzyme in the body of these patients, causing Ivermectin toxic side effects.

The administration of an agent like ivermectin, which is also used to combat worms and other parasitic infections in treatments is dangerous. In patients with hypersensitivity, this agent may be poisonous after administration, which mainly relates to the nervous system. 

They can have seizures with muscle spasms, they may become unconscious and even fall into a coma. The heartbeat may slow as a result of oxygen deficiency and a decrease in body temperature. In addition, patients show also salivation, vomiting or diarrhea. 

Unfortunately, it already happened several times that a patient dies because of the ivermectin treatment. Aren't this also symptoms of nodding disease?

Follow The Money

Funding for the 2012 epilepsy census was obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) as is described in; “Grant Number: GH0000046. Funders’ Reference: Centers for Diseases Control.

The investigation protocol was designed by the Ministry of Health and reviewed by CDC. The CDC team provided technical guidance to the Ministry of Health teams during the data collection, entry, cleaning and data analysis. However, the decision to publish this viewpoint paper was solely taken and pursued by the Ministry of Health with support from the WHO Country Office.

In Kitgum and Pader, the most NS-affected districts of Uganda the disease occurred because of the war in those districts. Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin CDTI was not available before 2009, and it was only implemented in some of the most affected villages only in 2012. 

Since ivermectin has been distributed biannually in NS-affected districts in Northern Uganda and larviciding major rivers (targeting the blackfly vector of onchocerciasis virus (OV) had been implemented.

There has been a dramatic drop in the number of new NS cases. No new cases were officially reported in 2013, say scientists and only two new cases were detected from 2014 to the present (personal communication, B Opar to JF Wamala).  

While this is not a proof that the drop was caused by widespread CDTI and/or by larviciding rivers, it is highly suggestive because, in South Sudan, where the coverage of ivermectin has always been very low and larviciding rivers are currently not done, new cases of NS continue to appear. (Personal communication from S. Komyangi to professor R. Colebunders of Antwerp University Belgium).

Whether there has been a similar decline in other forms of epilepsy in Northern Uganda needs further investigation scientists said. But that is common for getting more money for more research and experiments on human beings. The experience in Uganda is a convincing argument against the possibility that ivermectin could be causing cases of NS as well.

A house-to-house census of NS and convulsive epilepsy, conducted by trained village health teams from the Ugandan Ministry of Health in June 2012, in northern Uganda, provided evidence that the NS outbreak in Uganda occurred simultaneously with a convulsive epilepsy outbreak in the same districts and the administration of ivermectin.

Martin Ojara And His Desperate Bitterness

For those who have been living with the disease and its effects, it all seems to be moving very slowly. In Uganda, frustration over the government response is growing. “People are very bitter and they think the government has abandoned them,” said Martin Ojara, local council coordinator for the Acholi sub-region in Uganda, which is where the disease is concentrated.

Though the government recently announced a plan to establish treatment centers and bring in health workers to address the disease, some say it's too little, too late. A request by the Health Ministry for 3.8 billion Ugandan Shillings (about $1.5 million) to fight the disease was not included in the supplementary budget recently submitted to parliament for approval. 

The finance ministry, which said the request was late, has instructed health authorities to reallocate funds from their existing budget until the next supplementary budget.

Beatrice Anywar Member Of The Ugandan Parliament

“It is very sad,” said Beatrice Anywar, an opposition member of the Ugandan parliament for one of the most affected areas. “It shows how the government really doesn't care,” she added. The government maintains it has been seeking a cause and treatment for the disease since it first surfaced. How? We suggest to read the info on our blog in order to become more informed about the real cause of the disease!**

“There have been a lot of attempts, from 2009 to date, to get the middle of this situation answered; what is the problem and how can it be addressed?” Asked Musa Ecweru, the minister of state for disaster preparedness and emergency response in the prime minister's office, to reporters earlier.

“Everybody knows that the government has not just folded its hands. It has been doing all it takes to make sure that it will get on top of this situation,” he also said. Anyway, others have called for the area to be declared a disaster zone. In some villages in her district, almost every family has a child with nodding disease and some families even have several victims. 

The children with the disease who are of school-going age cannot go to school and have no future. Food security is a problem because these parents are not productive. The parents of these sick children are traumatized by an unknown disease and literally have lost hope,” she added.

According to scientists, in dozens of scientific articles, the origin of nodding disease lies in Tanzania but years of research and investigation by independent medical personnel reveal that nodding disease syndrome was biowarfare agent and dangerous medicines administered for patients.

We don't only live in a dangerous world but also a world ruled by corrupt and mafioso pharmaceutical, military, and political establishments. They make money from sick people and one of the quickest ways to generate maximum profits is to target the poor and vulnerable people in Third World Countries. This is the reason we need to ask: 


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