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Woes of a massive jigger infested octogenarian

Nyamira CEC of health Douglas Bosire addresses the press at the Nyamia level five hospital on 17/01/2019. He says there are about 2000 affected homesteads in the area, some with more than one individual and appeals to the residents to observe hygiene.

If wishes were horses, this octogenarian could ride 30 years back in life, when her woes which have rendered her almost immobile had not started.

Back then, 80 years old Jelia Makomba from Bochiroche Village, North Mogirango in Nyamira County was then a strong woman who could run her errands until massive jigger infestation on her feet disabled her.

From her hospital bed in Nyamira County hospital where she was dropped by well-wishers, oduor can be sensed two meters away owing to the impact of the parasite that seemed to have sucked life from her feet causing her severe infection that has left her feet swollen.

However, although the hospital has become her haven of hope and comfort where she is receiving not only medicine but psychological support necessary for her condition, Makomba is still worried on how she will foot the bills.

This is because she has been living alone for many years after her husband died in the early 1980s.

Back to her home located on 50 by 50ft piece of land, a padlock dangling at the door welcomes guests to her house as if announcing the absence of the inhabitant.

According to her elder son James Abina Kabinga who lives 200 meters away, the family had given up, deeming her problem mysterious and incurable.

Villager Joel Ondieki says the community had disowned the octogenarian and no one wanted to be associated with her any more.

Appealing for assistance from the local leaders for her proper medication and food as she is not NHIF compliant, Ondieki describes the family as poverty stricken with uneducated children.

Nyamira Level five hospital medical superintendent Dr. Samuel Ombati confirms that her condition which is basically caused by the jiggers is manageable.

He says they have embarked on removing and treating the infection with antibiotics and daily dressing of the wounds.

But the octogenarian is not alone, area County Executive Committee (CEC ) of health Douglas Bosire says there are about 2000 affected homesteads in the area, some with more than one individual.
Bosire now appeals to the residents to observe hygiene including regular smearing of mud houses, and proper methods of sanitation.

He says to clear the menace, there were 1400 volunteers doing routine surveillance, and taking measures like spraying.

James Abina Kabinga accompanied by villagers ponder their next move after his 80 years old mother Jelia Makomba from Bochiroche Village, North Mogirango in Nyamira County was hospitalized over massive higher infestation. On 17/01/2019. He appeals to well wishers to help pay hospital bills saying his mother was not NHIF compliant.

The county, he says was also partnering with Red Cross to provide foot wear for the vulnerable population. He warns against stigmatising the affected saying it was leading to un- ending cycle since community tends to hide those affected.

By Jane Naitore

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