Kenya Red Cross intensifies the war on jiggers in Bumula District
Written by Timothy Makokha
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Bumula residents waiting to be served by the Kenya Red Cross during the free medical camp held at Namaika primary school in Bumula District. Photos I Timothy Makokha.
The Kenya Red Cross department stepped up its war against jiggers by organizing a one day free medical camp at Namaika Primary School in Bumula District of Bungoma County to help reduce the menace.
The medical camp led by Dr. Nasra Ali a medical health advisor after the Red Cross Organisation revealed that over 600 people in Bumula District are infested with jiggers.
“We hope over 200 community members set to benefit, hundreds of rural dwellers grapple with jigger menace unable to walk or even work. This often results in trauma and isolation resulting in low self esteem," said Dr Nasra Ali the Health Advisor Kenya Red Cross.
According to its assessment report, on “Jiggers eradication and disease prevention”, found over 600 people infested with jiggers. 280 among these were primary-school going children.
Dr Nasra Ali the Health Advisor Kenya Red Cross, chairman Bungoma Red Cross Branch Dr. Amin Kheith with other officials at the jigger campaign event.
The coordinator for Red Cross Bungoma branch Ms. Valentine Mutaki, said the Red Cross is partnering with the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, Western Branch in the initiative. Seven doctors and an equal number of pharmacists will be available for diagnosing and providing prescriptions to those who cannot reach hospitals. 50 other volunteers will be on hand to help remove jiggers and clean houses.
There were doctors from Bumula district hospital, Bungoma and Webuye sub- district hospital.
Apart from the removal of jiggers and treatment exercise, the doctors present attend to patients treating all kinds of ailments like malaria, coughs, skin infections, ring worms and de-worming exercise for young children
The aim of choosing the site was to expose professionals in the rural areas to encourage them save village people and accept working in rural areas unlike majority of them who prefer working in urban areas.
Dr. Nasra Ali who is the first deputy governor for Kenya Red Cross said that the aim of Saturday’s medical camp was to assist the suffering and stigmatized school going children. It was discovered that in this region most children drop out of school because fear and shyness created by them having jiggers that interfere with their walking style.
Dr. Jamilla Sally who is the vice chairperson for Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya Western Province branch said apart from treatment of diseases they are also interested in sensitizing community members in the region about personal hygiene which is the other effective way of eradicating jiggers from the community.
The patron of the medical camp commonly known as “Mama Red Cross” who was present at the camp said she was pleased by the work done by doctors and appreciated the community members for their positive response to the Red Cross call for the medical camp.
Red Cross officials from other regions were also present, for example Mr. Walukana Richard is a member of Eldoret branch.
The acting area Chief for Mabusi location Mr. Peter Nambale Wafula appreciated the Red Cross team for giving the free medical services to his people in the location. Mr. Wafula also urged the residents to come out in large numbers next time such an event is organized.