It is a beautiful sunny day in Amudat district, but in Lokubal's family, all is not well. The 42-year-old just succumbed to Kala azar disease. According to his son only identified as Simon, the disease struck in 2011 after Lokubal had returned from a cattle rustling mission in the neighbouring district of Moroto.
It is believed that while in Moroto, Lokubal, together with his peers, spent several nights in the bush, planning how to make the most of the cattle raid.
"When he returned from Moroto, he started suffering from recurring headaches, fever, nose bleeds as well as loss of hair and appetite. He concluded it was malaria and started trying out one anti-malarial drug after another for over eight months.
"His health kept on deteriorating and by the time it dawned on him that it was not malaria, it was too late. He had become so weak to stand without support, had a distended stomach, constant nose bleeds and weight loss - signs and symptoms of Kala azar infection, locally known as 'termes', Simon adds.
By the time his family rushed him to Amudat Hospital, the health facility in Uganda that treats Kala azar, he was taking his last breath. Sadly, Lokubal is the 13th member of his family to succumb to the disease over a period of 10 years. Solomon Oleny writes:
What is Kala azar disease?
According to Prof. Joseph Olobo, an immunologist (specialist in the body's immune system) at the Department of Microbiology, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kala azar was first discovered in India in the early 1900s. More....