Over 20 families in Ngemwa, Ikinu Village in Githunguri Constituency of Kiambu County have been heavily infested by jiggers and the families are on the verge of losing hope over destitution.
According to Cecelia Wagithomo, who has been taking care of three frail men who have been grappling with the debilitating infestation of the tiny sand-fleas, the Tungiasis disease has been ravaging them since 1990.
“To reduce their pain, I use diesel and paraffin which I smear on the affected places. The liquids reduce the itch giving them some bit of relief but that does not remove them,” she said.
She stated that it has been a daunting task for her to handle the three men who are also battling intellectual disability as they don’t work and must keep eating.
“I’,m grateful to the media for remembering us. Your blankets and food donations will go a long way in helping us fight hunger. Our hopes remain high that one day God will get this trouble behind us,” she said.
In another family that the journalists visited, children as young as six years have also been infested with the pests, their legs and hand fingers now paining due to the parasites.
In the pitiable family, six children alongside their mother are all battling the severe infestation that has seen them walk with difficulty.
Veronica Wangui Ruguru, a resident from the village said they have run out of anti-jigger drugs calling on the government and other well-wishers to intervene.
“It’s been crazy fighting the jiggers. They sometimes attack even private parts making someone live in misery and shame. Now that we have run out of hydrogen peroxide which we use to fight the jiggers, they are now mutating into bigger things which are more painful,” said Wangui.
As a way of giving back to the community, a group of Kiambu journalists have donated food items to vulnerable families from Ikinu village in Githunguri Constituency, Kiambu County.
The journalists under the umbrella of Kiambu Scribes gave the food, beddings and masks donations to cushion the impoverished families from the biting effects of Covid-19.
They distributed the items over the weekend with the assistance of area Community Health Volunteers.
Led by Esther Kihanya, a communication officer at the Kiambu County,the over 20 journalists made the donations after the CHVs unearthed the pathetic situation of a section of families in the Constituency that were on the verge of losing hope over destitution.
The journalists promised to follow up the cases with the authorities for prompt interventions even as they work to support the families where they can.