Isaac’s gripping jigger infestation story.
Clad in his school uniform,Isaac can barely walk as he is brought to Matibabu Foundation Hospital by Mr Peter,Isaacs teacher.The sores on his feet and fingers clearly explain his uncomfortable movement pattern as all his toes have been eaten up by jiggers and what is left is a fragile skin full of pus and dead cells.He cannot wear shoes as his feet are badly disfigured.Mr Peter explains of the schools worries and concerns for young Isaac as the problem has affected his studies and there is fear of it spreading to other pupils.
Issac,a 10 year old class 4 pupil at Milambo primary school in Sifuyo,a small village in Ugenya sub county has had jiggers for close to a year.He recounts of many sleepless nights due to the itchiness and the resulting social isolation that has in turn created a sense of trauma and reduced self-esteem in him.
A jigger is a type of parasitic flea that attacks soft areas of the skin,such as the web of toes and fingers, and spreads to other parts of the body if it remains untreated. The jigger initially causes only an itchy irritation,
but as it sucks blood from its victim, the bug grows bigger and multiplies, causing severe inflammation and ulceration in the victims skin. Unfortunately for Isaac his complication was at the severe level.
In a quest to provide family centred health information &services that surpass the expectations of clients, Matibabu hospital administration facilitated Nick, a nurse at the hospital who took up the initiative to assist young Isaac. The next day in the morning, Nick armed with the complete treatment package, hit the road to Milambo primary school and proceeded with Isaac to their home.
Nicks worst fears were confirmed on getting to the place Isaac calls home. He lives with a disabled father and his grandmother who happens to be the sole breadwinner despite her old age. The environment clearly depicts a high poverty level which has greatly contributed to the jigger infestation to the entire family.
After assessing the homestead, Nick offers them treatment session which includes fumigating the entire house to ensure no future infestation occurs and offers them counselling on the importance of keeping their house and bodies always clean to avoid attacks by the deadly parasites.
The family is assured of continued follow-ups on their progress and this gives Isaac high hopes of being normal and comfortable again.The small family is
quick to show their appreciation to Matibabu Foundation for its core value of respect for human dignity through its Commitment in understanding and prioritizing the needs of the community, which is its most valuable asset. Isaacs family is just but one of the many homes infested by jiggers and Matibabu Foundation Kenya is committed to going to extreme measures to curb the epidemic.
At Matibabu Foundation Kenya we advocate for partnership and dynamism by actively involving the community staff and other partners in embracing transformational change, commitment to Continual improvement, sharing of best practices and leveraging of resources.