Anti jigger organisation vows to fight stigma against menace

August 20, 2011 2:06 pm
Jigger Infested Foot/ FILE

, KIAMBU, Kenya, August 20- Anti jigger organisation Ahadi Kenya on Saturday took its jigger eradication campaign to Kiambu, where Chief Executive Officer Stanley Kamau reiterated their intention to not only keep fighting the menace but also the stigma associated with.

Mr Kamau said that although the levels of stigma for people infested with jiggers had gone down, some continue to suffer silently.

“A few weeks ago there was an issue of a child that was sent away from school for having jiggers. As an organisation, we are not going to condone stigma against victims. They should be treated the same way and accorded rights just like everybody else,” he warned.

Mr Kamau who spoke to Capital news after he led members of his Ahadi Trust in Mitahato Village in Githunguri constituency on a jigger eradication camping, also disclosed that his organisation was partnering with a university in Germany to come up with a cure for jiggers.

“We want to try and find possible cures for jiggers which have no known cure. Researchers have been in Kenya for two weeks laying ground work and the real work will begin late this year or early next year,” he revealed.

The Ahadi Trust has so far registered 6.8 million Kenyans infested with jiggers but has only been able to fully treat and rehabilitate 200,000 cases.

The organisation has appealed to government to draft a policy to combat the menace but it is optimistic that with partnerships between the government and corporates, more ground will be covered in addressing the issue.

“There is no known policy in this country for jiggers, it is just squeezed into the vector control policy, what we need is an independent policy for jiggers then we know how to act,” the CEO argued.

Also in the entourage was former nominated MP Njoki Ndung’u who urged parliament to push for more allocation to the Ministry of Health to help provide basic (health) services as required by the new constitution.

“It is incumbent on the Parliamentary Committee on Health to push for an increased amount for funding into the budget for the Ministry of Health, I know many parliamentarians are now concerned over the jigger issue,” she said.

“Communities must also be made aware of their rights that are guaranteed in the new constitution, the right to health, the right to emergency healthcare. The fight against jiggers is so much of a basic right,” she declared.


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