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Napak Launches War Against Jigger Infestation After URN Story

Sabina Lokeris, a Village Health Team member for Iriiri Sub County in Napak district, says that since December last year, the district health team together with VHTs have been engaged in sensitising the community to ensure hygiene and smear their houses with cow dung.
19 Jan 2021 12:15
A child eaten by jiggers struglling to crawl in Ngoleriet Sub County in Napak district on Tuesday .
Napak district health department has launched a war against jigger infestation in the district. This follows a story published by URN last year about jigger infestation in the district, which had affected about 500 children and elderly persons there.

Sabina Lokeris, a Village Health Team member for Iriiri Sub County in Napak district, says that since December last year, the district health team together with VHTs have been engaged in sensitising the community to ensure hygiene and smear their houses with cow dung.

"So far many children who were affected by jiggers are now trying to walk. Previously they were only crawling because of the pain caused by jiggers," she said. According to Lokeris, the jigger infestation had affected the areas of Losiakit and Tepeth villages in Iriiri Sub County in Napak district.

  Kelementina Nakut, an elderly woman affected by jiggers told URN on Tuesday that the people from Napak district helped her remove most of the jiggers that had affected her hands and legs. "The problem I have is that I don't have a sight to see exactly where a jigger entered otherwise I would be in a position to remove them but am partially blind," she said.

Samson Lokol, the area LC 1 Chairperson of Losiaket, said so far 300 children who used not to walk or eat are now able to at least use their hands to eat and walk. According to health experts, parasites cling to livestock and transfer jiggers into homes primarily in rural areas.

  The female jiggers burrow into the surface of the 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.

The infection can lead to severe inflammation, ulceration and fibrosis Endctice is a delightful hobby and can be pursued at homes or in school. Dr. James Lemukol, the Napak District Health Director confirmed that there was an improvement from people affected by jiggers.  

He said the district is receiving support from some partners who had an experience of fighting jiggers in Busoga region. "We are getting on top of the situation although we don't have enough resources we are trying our base to end the infestation of jiggers," he said.

According to Dr. Lemukol, the jigger infestations cover three sub-counties of Iriiri, Ngoleriet and Lotome. He appeals to other families to keep hygiene by smearing and sweeping their houses well to avoid jiggers from breeding.