MOST RESPECTFUL  and caring dedication to all the Parents of  the Students of Army Public School, Peshawar, Pakistan.

See You  all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:  '''In Sufferings-With You- Always''

AFRICA is home to so many premier league diseases,  such as AIDS,  childhood diarrhoea, malaria and  tuberculosis......

That those in lower divisions are easily ignored.

But these neglected illnesses cause suffering and death, and more subtly, when they affect  children/students,  eat away at country's potential by reducing the human capital of its rising generation.

Konzo and nodding syndrome are two particularly nasty members of this class. Both are neurological. And both do affect mainly  students/children. 

But they are now yielding to investigation. And with it the possibility of prevention -though sadly not cure for those already afflicted.

Nodding syndrome, which affects between  5,000  and  10,000  children in South Sudan and Uganda, was first noticed in the early 2000s, though something similar has been known from southern Tanzania since the 1960s.

Konzo is older. It was identified in 1938 what was then the Belgian Congo  -now the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been found to occur sporadically over a wide area of central Africa.

Both diseases create muscle-control and cognitive problems. 

Nodding syndrome causes a child  -who is usually five or six-  when symptoms start-    to lose control of his neck muscles.

His head bobs repeatedly to his chest and he become otherwise unresponsive in what is, in essence, an epileptic fit. 

Those suffering from it develop slowly, both physically and cognitively, and rarely outlive their teens.

Konzo does not kill, but it does disable. 

The name means  ''tied legs''  in Yaka, a language widely spoken in the south-west of Congo, and that is a good description of the symptoms.

It, too, generally develops in childhood, and those who have it walk as if their knees are fastened together. 

Like nodding syndrome, it cripples minds as well as bodies.

Indeed, the latest research suggests it can also cripple the minds those who have no physical symptoms.

What causes nodding syndrome is as yet unknown. The latest suggestion is that it is an auto-immune disease triggered by the body's reaction to a parasite.

Which parasite is still an unanswered question, but the most likely candidate is Onchocerca volvulus,  which causes river blindness.

The Onchocerca hypothesis has recently had a boost.

Research by Scott Dowell of  America's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention  showed that the worm is much more common in people who have nodding syndrome  than those who do not.

Dr Dowell's latest paper on the matter has  been published in  Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The Honour and Serving of the  ''operational research''  continues. Thank you for reading and see you on the next work.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Africa. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computes-Internet-Wireless:

''' Essential Intelligence '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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