Poor families seeking help to upgrade houses and uproot jiggers

Tuesday March 19 2019

Families suffering from jigger infestation are going without food as they cannot engage in productive work. PHOTO | SEARCH


Residents in Tumba sector in Huye District continue to suffer from jiggers with some families going without food as they cannot engage in productive work.

This is despite government’s effort to boost health and avail affordable housing to the poor.

“A large number of children in Tumba sector no longer attend school because they can’t walk long distances as a result of the parasitic chigoe fleas infestation,” said Philip Nsabimana, a resident of Tumba.

The main cause of the infection is poor housing with dirt floors which habour insects and parasites in the cracks.

“We are requesting the government to intervene and upgrade the floors of the poor who cannot afford decent housing,” said Mr Nsabimana.

In Maraba sector, 65-year-old Charles Nteziryayo, a father of four died in March last year from a jigger infestation in his toes and lips, which made it difficult for him to eat.


Shortly after his death his eldest son in his 30s, also succumbed to the infestation.

Another victim, Anastasi Bareke, a former primary school teacher continuously reaches down, his fingernails swollen with jiggers, to scratch his feet, which are roughened from the attack.

“I know over 10 people who died of jiggers, about six of them aged over 60 and the rest children,” he said.

The mayor of Huye District Ange Sebutege, said that plans were underway to uproot the jiggers.

“We are conducting a survey to identify families in critical conditions so that when we start the project they will be given priority,” said Mr Sebutege, adding that negotiations with different organisations are ongoing, to cement houses of the poor.

Doctor Alphonse Nsabimana, a general physician says the prime preventive measure is observing cleanliness, and wearing shoes to prevent the fleas from attacking the feet.