Jiggers (Chigoe fleas) are a major problem, especially for children. They live in the soil and burrow into the skin, causing itching and pain until it may be hard to walk. CEPARD’s treatment programme has been a huge success with the children in most schools in Kobama district being treated. We now need to have a regular programme of re-visits to treat any new cases.
In July we visited three primary schools: Osogo, Misita and Mbani primary schools. Steve has re-visited the schools since then and got some of the children to say how being treated had helped them. We haven’t changed their statements to keep them ‘real’ – when you spot errors in their English don’t forget they are writing in their third language!!!
Osogo primary school.
Kevin Ndege is currently in class 2 but should be in class 3. He had dropped out of school due to jigger infestation and when I was talking to him he told me that:
“I would really want to study and become a teacher I am an orphan and I stay with my Grandmother I am the oldest and my other siblings and at home, I am great full for the Jigger Wash and request that if my other siblings could be treated as well then we shall be all cured”
Mr. Rasto Okello, the teacher in charge of health said “I have been in this school for the last 5 years so am well aware of the Jigger state in the school. The outcome from the wash is impressive and the remaining cases are today countable. These pupils used to be absent from school and today the rate of absenteeism have reduced greatly. Most of the pupils that used to be in constant pain today have got smiling faces and this has had positive response on their school performance. We are currently doing continuous assessment test and their performance is promising, on behalf of the school I am grateful to the team and hope that future programs shall consider our school. Thank you”.
Misita Primary School.
I spoke to Victor Omondi who is in class two and he said “I have had good progress since the Jigger wash and these days I come to school daily as compared to before when I could absent myself from school because my feet was painful, I thank all the musungus for helping me walk properly”.
Mbani Primary School.
Raila Ochieng is in Preunit and is doing well with his feet he has also improved in his class work and his teacher said
“These day Raila comes to school daily and is very active in class unlike before when he never used to contribute in class he has recovered from Jiggers”
One of the girls in this team Elizabeth Atieno though not very shy she could talk for herself unlike the rest of the boys and girls that were shy
In my interview with Elizabeth she told me why she was in Class three
“ I am third born in our family and my elder brothers dropped from school because we had jiggers everywhere in our home I am lucky even though am behind my age mates but I want to study so that I can have a good future and next time when you come I will bring my other siblings so that you can attend to them”