In Rukungiri District, Bwambare sub county, a total of 650 people are in fear for their lives after being infested by jiggers. Children aged 2 to 5 years are unable to walk and the elderly between 50 to 70 years unable to sit due to pain caused by the infestation.
According to the village health team, this is due to the poor sanitation in over five villages of Kikongi parish including Rushebeya, Kateramo, Kempazi, Garuka and Guruka since August last year.
Commenting on the subject, Fatboy said that as much as the Government may have a part to play in helping the situation, it's the responsibility of people to get rid of the infestation.
“It would be understandable for people to point to the Government for help but still there's an element of personal and community responsibility that needs to be discussed. Surely, as a country, are we so poor that we can't deal with the issue of jiggers at a community level? Does the Government need to come in first? Let's come together and try to educate people in the villages on what can be done to prevent jigger infestation because it's such a shame that in 2022, this is still a problem in Uganda,” Fatboy said.
Olive Najjuma, another host of The Fatboy Show, confessed that although she had ever suffered from a jigger infestation, the degree to which it had affected the lives of people in Rukungiri District is overwhelming.
“I've had a jigger or two before. You know these things of going to the village for a burial and when you return, you feel something itching. However, reaching a point where someone can't sit means you're so dirty so this is on them,” she said.
She continued, “Probably they are not sweeping their compounds, or are defecating in places that they are not supposed to because they may not have latrines.”
According to the sub county’s Community Development Officer, Ronald Nahabwe, the parasitic skin disease has been spurred by the increasing numbers of domestic violence, poverty and child neglect. However, he confirmed that close to 450 people are receiving treatment and the sub county leadership team is yet to fumigate afflicted areas and sensitize people on proper sanitation and hygiene.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.