Jiggers campaign gets global recognition

May 19, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – The Executive Director of the anti-jigger campaign AHADI Kenya Trust has been nominated for the African International Achievers Award (AAIA).

Stanley Kamau was on Thursday honoured by Brand Kenya for the international recognition ahead of the award ceremony that is set to take place in the UK on May 27.

He has been cited for providing Universal Primary Education through the Anti Jiggers Campaign.  Mr Kamau noted that with 1.7 million school-aged children still infested with jiggers in Kenya it is imperative for the government to implement an anti jigger policy.

“I am very proud that Kenya is the pioneer of anti-jigger campaign in the world and that it is setting the pace for other countries. Other countries that have already launched this campaign have come up with policies and budgets for the fight against jiggers and I urge this country to do the same,” he said.

With 41 centres countrywide, the AHADI Kenya Trust Anti- Jigger Campaign has helped 200,000 children recover from jiggers and return to school, over the last four years.

However, Mr Kamau emphasised that giving free education is not enough to ensure children will attend school because it does not address the stigma of jiggers, which causes many to drop out.

“We need to provide a better atmosphere for the children to study without being laughed at. Some kids can’t even hold a pen or sit because they have jiggers all over their bodies. We need to educate people more on the jigger infestation,” he said.

Mary Kimonye, Brand Kenya CEO, said individuals like Mr Kamau have motivated the organisation to implement a Brand Kenya Ambassadors Club thorough its ‘Celebrating our Heroes programme,’ to give Kenya a positive national identity and image.

“We would like to turn these people who are doing such good work for Kenya into Brand Ambassadors. These are people to represent our country, and who we would like to use as the face of Kenya who have a story behind them,” she said.

Brand Kenya’s ‘Celebrating our Heroes programme’ seeks to highlight Kenyans from various fields who elevate the country’s profile and contribute to achieving Vision 2030.

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