Gatundu youth volunteer to help families infested with jiggers

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 31 Oct, 2022 20:13 | 2 mins read
Gatundu youth volunteer to help families infested with jiggers
Local youths removing jiggers from a child at Ha Kimori village in Gatundu North. Photo/Mathew Ndung'u

Days after K24 Digital highlighted the challenges facing residents of Hakimori village in Gatundu North, Kiambu county, who have been crying for help to fight jigger infestation, a group of local youths have volunteered to remove the fleas.

Sophia Kimuhu, the leader of the concerned youths, says the infestation is deeply rooted and further action is required for the victims to live normal lives.

Speaking after visiting affected families on Monday, October 31, Kimuhu regretted that they are only relying on traditional methods to remove the jiggers as they don't have the capacity to purchase the requisite medicines to cleanse the fresh wounds and prevent further infection.

"We have zero sponsorship and the only thing we have is a needle and hot water which we splash on the wound after removing a jigger. There are modernized ways of fighting the insects but we don't have the financial capacity to acquire the chemicals," Kimuhu regretted.

Joseph Mwangi, a nurse from Gatundu North constituency who also joined the youths, revealed that the affected locals are in dire need of help and urged well-wishers to urgently intervene.

During the visit, a few locals among them seven children had the jiggers removed before they were trained on cleanliness.

"We have trained the residents on good hygiene measures even as we rallied them to embrace a culture of wearing shoes to avoid further infestations," Kimuhu added.

Bearing the brunt of the challenge that is in over ten homes are the elderly persons who have been incapacitated from going about their daily economic activities as the fleas have invaded both their hands and legs thereby making them unable to walk or use their hands.

Jigger-infestation pain

Residents had earlier decried that the poor village has known no peace for months now due to the ravaging parasitic insects which have wreaked havoc on over ten families.

Most of the elderly persons have lost their nails as a result of the invasion with others having developed inflammation, and ulceration among other ailments.

The locals have been trying to eliminate the insects using engine oil but the intervention has only been serving as a temporal solution to the menace that has also left most of the affected in discomfort.

Jane Wangari, a widow whose five children died several years ago, said she has been left with no one to support her in life as she can no longer be able to go about farming.

The 75-year-old woman regretted that the infestation has occasioned serious psychological torture on her body and called on well-wishers to help the village eliminate the insects.

Her sentiments were echoed by Raphael Wanyoro who no longer walks without a walking stick as the jiggers have been increasing day by day inside her legs and hands.

“Coupled with poverty, I have been left a troubled man. I now require new blankets, sheets and a bed to survive. These insects have been inside my body for more than one year now and following their attack, I can no longer be able to walk without this stick,” he said.

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