Government calls for multi- stakeholder involvement in the fight against jiggers


Kakamega, Friday March 3, 2023

Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health, State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards Dr. Josephine Mburu has called on the County Government, development partners, Civil Societies, community leaders together as National Government, County Government, development partners, Civil Societies, community leaders to join hands in the fight against jiggers.

In a speech delivered on her behalf by the Head, Department of Environmental Health, Dr. Susan Koki, during commemoration of the National Jigger Awareness Day, the PS noted that the most at-risk population cohorts are school-going children, the elderly, and the physically disabled persons.

“Children severely affected by jiggers lose school hours and can barely concentrate in class as they are distracted by the pain caused by sores on the affected body parts. They suffer stigmatization and discrimination while infected adults have decreased productivity and loss of social capital.” She

She said that the devastating effects of jiggers leads to a vicious cycle of poverty thus frustrating Kenya’s attempts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on poverty reduction and reduce the pace of national development as envisioned in Kenya’s Vision 2030.

“We are committed to the mantle that prevention is better than cure and we therefore emphasize concerted efforts on prevention interventions such as environmental protection, improved housing and treatment of the affected in order to break the transmission cycle.” The PS urged.

In Kenya, there is, an estimated 1.4 million Kenyans suffering from jigger infestation, with the highest prevalence rates being found in Central, Nyanza, Western, Coast and Rift Valley. The government gazetted 3rd March as the National Jigger Awareness Day to create awareness towards the prevention and control of the infestation of jiggers in vulnerable populations.

The Department of Environmental Health conducted a one week jigger awareness campaign in Kakamega County that culminated in the National Jigger Awareness Day.