Medical Aid


There are many areas of need that the people of Butere, Kenya face. One of these are caused by sand fleas, also known as "jiggers." 


Jiggers burrow into the skin and lay eggs. The case swelling, itching and infection, which in more extreme cases can lead to amputation and even death. Jiggers themselves are not deadly, but they lead to secondary infections, such as gangrene, tetanus, blood poisoning and other diseases, which are fatal. Once an infestation has occured, the only way to treat it is by cutting the fleas out of the foot and soaking it in a disinfectant bath. This is a painful process, which often takes more than one treatment. In Kenya, an estimated 1.4 million people (in other words, 4% of the population) suffer from jigger infestation.


Jiggers live in the dust and are found on dirt floors in schools and homes and on livestock. People living in remote rural areas are likely to catch them. For a complete eradication of the bug, throrough fumigation of homes, schools and animals need to take place.


The wounds from jiggers are painful and cause complications for victims. Daily activities like walking, working or attending school become difficult. People living in infected regions are encouraged to wear shoes to prevent infestations. However, those in rural areas might not have access to shoes on a regular basis.