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Eradicating ‘Jiggers’ – What a Successful Regional Project

Over the last 2 years we have been involved in a simple but effective project – the eradication of ‘jiggers’ a parasite usually found under the skin on feet and hands. An estimated 2.6 million Kenyans are infected with jiggers, a flea-like parasite that burrows under the skin. Left untreated, jiggers can lead to all kinds of secondary infections, loss of mobility and even death. Some 1.5 million children cannot go to school because of the condition, which is linked to poverty and poor hygiene.  There is currently no drug to cure jiggers, however the treatment is simple and extremely cost effective; jigger-infested body parts – usually hands and feet – are treated with soap, water, potassium permanganate, and petroleum jelly.

This is a way in which a simple solution which is relatively cheap to provide (less than £1 per head of treatment) can bring help to a large number of people. We have been working with Neat Hands, Happy Feet in the Kwale area. Thanks to our sister Club, Gt Yarmouth for such a great idea.

Our Club members raised significant funds over the last 2 years. Thousands have been treated and hygiene education has helped to lessen the problem.

We now move on to our next Regional Project – supporting the Pelandaba Orphans school in Zimbabwe – the idea coming from a previous resident of Zimbabwe who is now a member of our Club in Kings Lynn.