Wednesday July 2 2014

10 hospitalized over jigger infestation

A jigger infested girl displays her hands as

A jigger infested girl displays her hands as someone helps her to remove them from her knee FILE PHOTO 

By Yazid Yolisigira


At least 10 people infested with jiggers have been admitted to Nsinze Health Centre IV in Namutumba District.
Eight are children under 12 years of age who had dropped out of schools in Kivule and Isegero parishes, Nsinze Sub-county. They were admitted to the health facility after they could no longer manage to walk.
A health worker at the facility Ms, Martha Mutesi, said the 10 people had been put in a separate ward and were undergoing treatment.
“The victims were given a special ward to avoid spreading the parasites to other patients,” Ms Mutesi said and added,”The jiggers had eaten their feet, thighs, buttocks and fingers. Some of them were given drips of water after finding them dehydrated.”
According to Ms Mutesi, some of the children have become malnourished and need serious medication.
The risk for infestation from tungiasis or jiggers is high if feet are not protected by shoes and socks, either because people cannot afford them or if wearing shoes is not part of local custom, health scholars observe.
In the National Master Plan for Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme 2013-2017, the Ministry of Health observes that the disease is endemic in most districts but it is intense in 20 districts of eastern region. Current efforts to control it are based on social mobilisation.
The year 2018 is targeted by the ministry for the elimination of tungiasis, but current statistics show that the country is nowhere in eliminating this scourge.