Jiggers are small chigoe fleas that live in the dust, and are found on the dirt floors in schools and homes. The female jiggers burrow into the surface of skin that has been exposed to the flea. Once embedded in the body, the jigger lays eggs and creates up to pea-size egg sacks and continues to multiply by laying more eggs. These wounds are painful, and cause difficulties for victims in daily activities such as walking, playing, and attending school.
Jiggers infestation remains to be a pinching problem in Murang’a County’s poor communities as a result of poor living and sanitary standards. Jiggers infestation needs utmost care which is quite expensive for the poor to access. Once there occurs an infestation in the household the remedial costs are quite high for the poor to access. Social stigma causes the victims to hide worsening the problem.
Removal of fleas out of the foot and soaking it in alcohol or another disinfectant is the only way to treat the disease once an infestation has taken place. Cutting out the jiggers is a painful process, and often all the jiggers cannot be removed in one sitting. Patients often use the same scalpel or pin to cut out the jiggers, therefore infections such as HIV/Aids are passed from one person to another.
For complete eradication of the bug, thorough fumigation of homes, schools and animals needs to take place.
St. Michael Community Centre wishes to work towards sensitizing and encouraging the Murang’a Community to wear shoes and observe cleanliness to prevent future infestations.