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Food recipes for children with nodding syndrome are being developed at Lira University.

She intends to have the recipes ready by the end of the month so that distribution to the target group can begin in the third quarter.

At least ten alternative recipes are being developed by a team of dieticians and laboratory technologists at Lira University’s Department of Public Health to enhance the nutrition of youngsters suffering from nodding syndrome in the Acholi and Lango sub-regions.

According to a baseline study conducted by Lira University and the NARO Consortium in January 2021, the rate of wasting and stunting among children in the Acholi and Lango sub-regions is higher than the national and global prevalence, respectively.

The survey focused on 48 health centers in the Acholi sub-Kitgum, region’s Pader, Nwoya, and Gulu districts, as well as the Lango sub-Lira, region’s Oyam, Kole, and Alebtong districts, finding high levels of malnutrition among children suffering from malnutrition.

According to Freda Amito, a lecturer in Lira University’s Department of Public Health, they have traveled the eight districts for intervention and profiled the locally available food to utilize in developing the recipe.

She intends to have the recipes ready by the end of the month so that distribution to the target group can begin in the third quarter.

Amito said the food will be provided to children with moderate acute malnutrition, also known as wasting, in addition to youngsters with nodding syndrome. Those who are on the nutrition plan will be followed for six months before a final report is issued on whether or not the recipes are effective.

According to Amito, the cuisine will be high in nutrients that children with nodding syndrome lack in order to improve their health. She claims that the meal will be available in a variety of forms, including flour that can be made into porridge, solid food, and paste, among others.

After constructing the food recipe, Amito says they’ll cook it and put it through a series of tests in the lab to see whether any other nutrients are still present. Furthermore, the items will be offered to professionals and selected members of the community to sample for flavor and scent, with the recipes being eliminated or kept based on the tasters’ feedback.

The food would be supplied to the beneficiaries for free, according to Bonny Aloka, an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Public Health who is also part of the team designing the recipe. According to Aloka, the patients’ caregivers will be taught how to create the recipes so that they can easily obtain them once the ones supplied are gone.

Joe Otto, the nodding syndrome coordinator in Kitgum district’s Labongo Akwang sub-county, believes the breakthrough is significant because most families with children suffering from nodding syndrome are unable to provide a proper nutrition for their children.

According to Otoo, families with nodding syndrome spend the majority of their time caring for their children rather than working to provide a balanced diet for their children.

Dr. David Kitara Lagoro, a lecturer in the Department of Medicine and Biochemistry at Gulu University, stated during a Christmas lunch with children with nodding syndrome in Tumangu, Kitgum district, in December 2021, that proper nutrition is very important in the general improvement of children with nodding syndrome.

Dr. Lagoro, who has been studying nodding syndrome since 2012, said that when children with nodding syndrome were held at the Rehabilitation Centre in Omoro area, the majority of them improved because they were well-fed.


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