Jiggers are fleas which live in the soil. Children who run barefoot in rural areas are very prone to being infected by them. They lay hundreds of eggs which gradually spread & cause pain and disablement. From the feet they easily spread to the hands and face. Children cannot walk and in time the jiggers will spread covering their faces including the eyes and mouth. Adults’ hands become so damaged that they cannot work.
Jigger fleas cause swelling, ulceration, itching and infections and the pain leaves many people with walking problems. The only way to remove the jiggers is to cut them out – usually with no anaesthetic.
WORK offers free treatment to whole communities for Jiggers. It is not expensive but is time consuming and relies on having enough staff to go to outlying villages.
Tuberculosis can spread within families because people are not diagnosed with the disease. WORK goes out to villages and tests whole families as all ages are susceptible. Treatment is given to those who have the disease. As well as preventing them from becoming very ill it helps to stop the spread of the disease and keep communities safe.
The Kangaroo Project is proving to be highly effective.
This is a project supporting and helping teenage girls with their pregnancies. When the pandemic arrived in Kenya and they locked down, all schools closed and all tourism and industry stopped. There are quite a number of teenage girls who are the ‘head’ of their family – this coupled with men being home and out of work resulted in a great increase in teenage pregnancy. Some families are so poor, especially with the effects of the pandemic, that girls are often ‘selling’ their body for 50p so they can buy food . These girls were coming to St Bakhita’s clinic for the birth of their babies – but increasingly it was found that the babies died within one month, mainly due to no food at home and therefore no breastmilk.
The Kangaroo project keeps the mothers and babies at the clinic until the baby is at least 2kg. A home visit (where possible) is carried out and the mother and baby come back to the clinic for baby vaccinations. Mothers are given a meal at least 3 times a week.
A generous donation has enabled WORK to employ an extra nurse so that the mothers and babies can be monitored more closely. The aim is to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and support mothers to care for the babies.