Their conditions improving, nearly all of the children admitted to health centres for nodding syndrome have now been released, according to Uganda’s Ministry of Health; less severely affected patients have also started treatment.
Even as health officials bring the symptoms under control, the cause of the syndrome remains unknown, which means all of Uganda's diagnosed patients will have to remain on treatment for long periods. And gaps in the health system - highlighted by a recent two-day strike at an affected health facility - have raised questions about the government's ability to provide consistent care.
The syndrome, so far only diagnosed in children and adolescents, is marked by episodes of involuntary nodding, usually triggered by food or cold. It has caused reduced brain function, including loss of speech in some patients, as well as the withering of arms and legs.
Diagnosed patients have been receiving anti-epileptic medication to control the seizures, along with nutritional supplements, including vitamin B complex.
Of the 2,775 identified cases, 321 were severe enough to require hospitalization, according to Bernard Opar, the health ministry's co-coordinator for nodding syndrome. He said many of those children had been suffering from the syndrome for years and were bedridden and suffering from severe wasting. All but a handful of those patients have now been discharged.
"You can see that there is some success," he said. "You can see that their cognitive functions are coming back." Reports showed that 15 patients have been able to reenrol in school, he added.
The ministry is sending teams of physiotherapists and speech therapists to affected areas to help patients regain motor and speech skills as their conditions improve.