A jigger, a tiny parasite but its effect has borne a terrifying story for one family in Gatei village, Gatundu North, almost rendering them immobile.
Jane Muthoni, a widow and her six kids have been confined to the walls of their tiny house in the village as the jigger menace continues taking a toll on them. So bad is the jigger infestation that it forced her six children out of school two years ago and they can now barely walk.
Muthoni is a widow who survives on menial jobs to fend for her family but even these jobs; she takes in a lot of strain due to jigger infestation which has spread to her hands.
She says that the problem gets worse by day, something that her neighbours have confirmed saying they have tried to salvage the situation but it is now beyond them.
However, Gladys Chania, a politician-cum-counselling psychologist together with other well-wishers on Tuesday visited the family and partially fumigated their house. They also disinfected the entire family’s feet.
Chania who is a community leader notes that such an incident is “very sad and pathetic to think about.”
“It's a family of six children and all of them, including the one-year-old who is breastfeeding, are infested by jiggers. They are all out of school apart from the 19-year-old who is in Form Three,” she told Hivisasa when contacted.
The psychologist offers that the situation can be reversed if well-wishers come together and help the family.
According to her, Muthoni has a one-acre farm with coffee and avocados trees but lack a decent house and water.
“This family cannot be said to be in abject poverty but they require capacity building and a little start-up to get back to their self-esteem…they just need encouragement," she says calling on Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi to donate a water tank to the family.
In dire cases, jiggers cause anaemia as they suck blood from their hosts and deprive them of haemoglobin and can also cause tetanus through the gaping wounds they leave on the victim’s body.