As the country celebrates commencement of the New Year, Busia women representative Catherine Omanyo has intensified the fight against jigger infestation in the county.
Subsequently, Omanyo launched an anti-jigger campaign in Teso South Sunday, targeting to improve the hygiene and physical environment of school-going children and the less privileged in the region.
At the same time, the MP has urged other local leaders to join in the fight against jiggers to enable children to learn without disruptions.
“Jiggers have affected the performance of many children within the county, leading to school dropouts and poor performances, hence the need to intensify the fight against the menace,” noted Omanyo.
The women rep said that by the end of this year, through the Government Affirmative Action Fund(GAAF) through her office, she plans to construct structures for the elderly, initiate treatment for the affected and also ensure distribution of shoes to the vulnerable school-going children.
“We will give dignity to the affected elderly people in the society by building simple structures and fumigating their houses to ensure we have a lasting solution to the problem of jiggers,” she added.
During the launch in Teso South constituency, over 100 jigger infested people from the area were treated courtesy of the women rep and Chakoli South MCA Danzel Musumba.
Musumba lauded the anti-jigger campaign noting that for one to be wealthy, he/she must first consider health and hygiene.
The MCA added that the jigger menace had given the county a bad name and it was time to deal decisively with the pests.
He noted that in order to eradicate the jiggers, Community Health Volunteers should be equipped with adequate knowledge and skills on how to educate locals on basic hygienic practices, besides providing drugs to those already infected by jiggers.
“Goodwill seems to be lacking in the prevention and control of the jigger menace. All the concerned duty bearers should step in to provide leadership in order to have a clear roadmap on prevention and control of the menace,” he said.
Jigger infestation is caused by an impregnated female sand flea called tunga penetrans, which burrows into various parts of the body and lays eggs there, causing pus-filled sores.
According to a community health volunteer Rosaline Akoth, hundreds of families in Busia county suffer silently from jigger infestation, where in some cases, the entire household has been affected, forcing children to drop out of schools due to stigma.
“Jigger infestations are scars, silently tormenting so many people here, simply because the society feels the matter should be swept under the carpet,” noted Akoth.
By Absalom Namwalo