The county government of Kakamega through the department of Public health and sanitation has launched vigorous anti-jigger campaign aimed at eradicating the menace within the county.
Speaking during the official launch of a Jigger Awareness Campaign programme at Panpaper grounds in Lugari Sub County, the County Executive Committee member in charge of health, Mrs. Peninah Mukabane expressed her disappointment with the huge number of residents ravaged by the jigger menace in Lugari.
“It’s worrying to establish that in this 21st century a large population of the people was still affected by jiggers”, she said adding that the county government was determined to eradicate the menace.
She disclosed that during this financial year the county government had set aside over Ksh. 3 million towards jigger treatment.
Besides removing the pests from their bodies, she said the county government will also provide free medical care and spray all affected households.
She added that more funds will be set aside in the next fiscal budgetary allocation, which will go towards anti jigger campaign.
She dismissed traditional stereo types to the effect that jigger attacks was as a result of curses and advised the residents to ensure maximum public and domestic sanitation to control their further spread.
“Even as the county treasury plans to allocate more cash towards the fight against the jigger menace, we urge our people to observe general cleanliness because jiggers thrive most under dirty environment.” said Mukabane who projected the monetary allocation at Ksh.5 million.
The CEC encouraged residents living in earth floored houses to develop habits of smearing them using cow dung at least twice in a week in order to reduce breeding grounds for jiggers, “schools with earthen floors should also do the same,” she added.
The county health boss disclosed besides procuring medicine for treatment of patients infested with jiggers, the department will also use part of the funds to buy shoes and other necessities for the affected persons adding that her department had set target of six months to eradicate the menace in Lugari sub county which is the most affected within the county.
Mukabane advised parents and guardians against hiding children infested with the deadly insects and instead urged them to take them to health facilities for medication.
“I’m even told adults in fact the aged suffering from the same are also hidden from public limelight,” she added.
Her sentiments were echoed by County Public Health Officer, Mr. Paul Manyasi and Lugari Sub County Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Mike Ekisa.
During the event, hundreds of persons infested with jiggers drawn from Lugari, Mautuma and Lumakanda wards in Lugari Sub County received free medical treatment courtesy of Kakamega county government.