Social media pressure works. We have seen it so many times in the recent past to keep on saying this is useless.
From the reaction to the Kony2012 viral video that got the west sitting up and spilling its coffee to the way the Nodding Disease is being reported, we can now confirm that things are actually not going to be done in the usual lackadaisical way of old.
So, the Nodding Disease has been around and baffled scientists for decades, big deal. The government of Uganda could have thought that because of this small fact, the rest of the world and particularly, Uganda’s resurgent Twitteratti would lay off the issue.
Not any chance. The newspapers came first, being forced to report the issues that the internet thought were important. Not some politician shaking the hands of grateful recipients of a cow in some East Uganda village; not some religious leader pontificating about term limits and so on.
We realised that the media was still in shackles and could not be trusted to bring us the deliverance we sought.
Enter Twtitter and Facebook and Weibo.
Now we report this as the important news. Because the world is reading and taking note. After the pleading of the Daily Monitor, shouting itself hoarse over the issue of the suffering children in northern Uganda, something is finally giving. Treatment areas have been opened up in the affected districts and the children do no have to be transported to Kampala anymore.
So, even if there has been this mysterious disease for many years, it does not give the government the right to sit on they butt while another generation withers away.