Clinics…. Shoes…. Medication…. Which one is the answer to the jigger problem in Uganda? We believe it is all of these that help lead to the decline of jiggers in Uganda AND most importantly EDUCATION. Like many other problems and diseases the ignorance around jiggers is a huge hurdle in the battle.
Many in the village believe that jigger infestations are a result of witchcraft, and some have even claimed that the delay over the election of the new cultural King of Busoga; the Kyabazinga has brought a curse on the people of Busoga (the region of Uganda Sole Hope works) in the form of the jiggers.* Most don’t know that poor hygiene, unclean living area’s, living with pigs in the home, and lack of closed-toe shoes are some of the main culprits spreading jiggers. Many of the children we work with have no clue what is going on in their feet and hands.
A family in Kamuli who lost a baby to anaemia after their house was badly affected by jiggers told their local paper that they treated their jiggers with local herbs, but never sought treatment from the health centre for the multiple infections resulting from the jiggers.*
“Some people believe jiggers are as a result of witchcraft, and bad omen, making a great number to seek treatment from traditional healers instead of conventional health care givers.”—James Kakooza, (State minister for health in charge of primary health care)
EDUCATION will be KEY in keeping children and families jigger-free… So, Sole Hope is taking action.
At each clinic at schools and in the villages we work in each child receives one on one education before they leave. They are taught to wear their shoes and take care of jiggers when they are first noticed in the feet and are much easier to remove.
At the Sole Hope Outreach Clinic where the worst cases are brought education plays a major role in the children’s daily activities. Our teachers do an amazing job working through each of the myths and educating through games, songs, and quiz’s.
When the families return to their villages jigger free they are given a Foot Health Kit and further instructions. All of their family and neighbors are invited for lessons on how to keep the jigger problem in check in their village. Instructions are given by Teacher Lillian, Nurse’s Prosey and Teddy, as well as Lead Social Worker Adam.
We have many more plans for education including animations, storybooks, drama’s, games, and songs.
*Read the whole post from Uganda Village Project HERE