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MKU and Partners for Care anti-jigger campaign in Kilifi County

MKU led by the Director for Research and Development, Professor Francis Muregi and Head of Socio-Economic Research Mr Humphrey Mwambeo and PFC led by its founder, Madam Connie E. Cheren  led the team of students and volunteers in treating the jiggers.

Through the outreach programme the MKU and PFC collaborated to reach out to the local community through sensitization and treatment of the jigger infested individuals. The activity was undertaken on November 6th and 7th, 2017 at a place called Kijiwetanga and Mama Rossana School within Watamu in Kilifi County. The local community members especially children are heavily infested by jiggers some to a level on not being able to walk properly.

Some of the Infants infested by jiggers who benefited from the outreach work Some of the Infants infested by jiggers who benefited from the outreach work

MKU campus in Malindi town while undertaking its socio-economic research work discovered the challenge of jiggers in the area. The challenge of jiggers is mainly a socio-economic one since jiggers thrive best in dirty environments where individuals fail to observe personal hygiene for different reasons.

Jigger infestation is very dangerous because it causes among others high school dropouts, walking challenges and stigmatization. It can therefore be described as a poor person’s condition where personal hygiene and basic items to keep clean are difficult to access due to poverty.

The treatment included cleaning the affected areas with soap and clean water followed by drying up the cleaned part of the body and soaking in water mixed with potassium permanganate for at least 10 minutes. Once out of the treatment Vaseline petroleum jelly or any other similar kind of jelly is applied to the treated part of the body. After the process the affected area is covered with cloth or gloves to avoid dirty for some time prior to resuming normal daily activities.

A total of 178 jigger infested individuals were treated. The two institutions having a presence in the region have planned to continuously monitor the situation and mount repeat anti-jigger campaign to completely eradicate the menace in the region. The exercise will be up-scaled to cover the entire county in an effort to turn it jigger free in less than two years period.