Alfred Ojara is a traditional healer in Uganda who claims to be able to treat and cure everything from malaria and meningitis to malnourishment armed simply with a clear plastic bag of light brown powder and a spoon.
Dr. Bernard Opar, the Ministry of health (MoH) coordinator for Nodding Disease has described Ojara as a criminal saying:
“He’s extorting money from people and he doesn’t know what he is treating.”
Ojara says he usually charges Shs 2,000 to Shs 5,000, or the equivalent of less than $1 U.S. to about $2 U.S. for a treatment; and that he has never received more than Shs 10,000, for a group, or about $4.
Nodding syndrome is a progressive disease that attacks with seizures; it’s normally characterized by an uncontrollable nodding of the head. The disease ultimately renders children physically and mentally disabled; it is fatal for most.
There are no laws that prevent Ojara from treating individuals but in this case some think he has obstructed a government health program which is illegal.