USF World News

USF Grad Student Researches Nodding Syndrome in Uganda
July 28, 2014

“Welcome to Uganda, the pearl of Africa.” This is where USF graduate student Funmi Olaoye is spending seven weeks, as she researches nodding syndrome for her degree in public health. Nodding syndrome is a disease that generally affects children between the ages of 5 and 15, and is characterized by cognitive impairment, and seizures in which the child repetitively nods his or her head. Funmi’s research allows her not only to study the disease, but connect with and rehabilitate the children affected by it so that they might have a better quality of life. She sees life and spirit in all of these children, and knows that despite their disease “the voices of these children need to be heard. They can sing, dance, be happy, and live a good life.”

Funmi will be spending her time in Northern Uganda at the Hope for Humans Comprehensive Care Center. This Center cares for about 40 children affected by nodding syndrome, providing them with healthcare, nutritious diets, and recreational activities such as singing and dancing. On average, the children taken into this center gain 9.9 lbs. in just three months, and they are being taught to read and do math.

Read more about Funmi’s work on the Going Places Blog here: