The Wajimida Jigger Project First Report: 20th June 2014
Dabaso Tujengane Self Help Group is a Community Based Organisation legally registered with the Ministry of Gender and Social Services in Malindi in 2010. It comprises 50 Community Health Workers who conduct preventive health activities for the Ministry of Health. As a group they identified tungiasis as a major health issue severely affecting their community, but that neither the government, nor any organization was doing anything to help. With technical and financial support from Lynne Elson, a Tropical Public Health Specialist, a campaign was started in 2012.
Very early on, a highly effective herbal oil was found and adopted for the treatment of tungiasis cases. See Annexes for photo of the impact of JIGFIX). The herbal oil is mostly based on neem and coconut oil, and produced by a traditional practitioner in Mombasa. Since then the Campaign has spread to the neighbouring sub-locations of Jimba and Mida, collaborating with the Community Health Workers (CHWs) in each place.
The group of 25 CHWs continued to treat people in their homes, walking house-to-house across the three sub-locations. Between March and May 2014 the group was able to treat a total of 3,757 cases of whom, 2,040 were male and 1,724 were female.
Of these 3,757 cases, the majority were under the age of 15 years, and slightly more were male than female.
At the same time we were able to successfully treat a small child with a severe scabies infection using the same neem and coconut herbal remedy:
In May, WAJIMIDA were very fortunate to be able to form a new partnership with an Italian NGO, Karibuni ONLUS and Rotary Club of Watamu. Through this partnership WAJIMIDA is supported to conduct the treatment of jigger cases in all three sub-locations as before and to step up their efforts in schools, awareness raising and treating compounds. As a result, all of the cases treated since May, are funded by Karibuni.
Consequently, WAJIMIDA is re-considering the best use of the funds we have from CHAT and the Fay family. We will use the funds to increase our coverage to new areas close-by.
Elizabeth of Samburu Central
Elizabeth is 20 years old and has 4 children. She lives in Partook. Elizabeth has been using the family method Depo for the last year. She says she would prefer to get the 5 year implant, however, can not afford it at the closest government dispensary, (in Maralal 3 hours away). Elizabeth says she learnt about family planning from her husband, most of her friends use depo, but similarly to her would prefer to have an implant. Elizabeth wants more children in the future, but for now she wants to wait until the ones she has have grown up and been to school. She says school is so important for her children’s future but if people have too many children close together in age, they can not afford to send them all to school. She wants her children to have the best future.
Ledia is Elizabeth mother in law, she is 50 years old, she says she is old now, but she sees that family planning is very important, she says she recommends family planning to all her children and their friends. She had 8 children that lived but if she could of she would have used family planning, to give herself and her children more strength. Especially when times were hard.
Rose of Samburu Central
Rose has 8 children, 5 girls and 3 boys. Rose doesn’t want anymore children. 4 years ago Rose received a 5 years implant from CHAT. She is so happy with it, and says since receiving the implant she has become stronger because she is not always pregnant any more. She has more strength to complete her daily chores such as collecting fire wood and water. She says another benefit since receiving the implant from CHAT is she has time to think. Also her 8 children are stronger too, and she has more time. Rose recommends family planning to all her friends.
Rose’s Husband has also noticed the benefits of Family Planning, and supports her using it. He says he is happy because before she used to conceive when the other child was still a baby, and was always very tired. Life was harder for them before she received Family Planning from CHAT.
Mali of Samburu Central
Mali Lemusi is about 25 years old, she lives in Opiroi and has two children out of wedlock. Mali has been using family planning for 1 year now, and was introduced to it by CHAT. Mali chooses to use the 3 month depo. She says she likes this one because she does not get any side effects. She says she chooses to get the 3 month depo, because nobody can know that she uses it. Mali runs a single mothers support group that does bead work. The catholic church sponsors this support group. Mali says she is scared to use the implant incase the church finds out, and stops sponsoring her. Mali says the biggest benefit for her, is she wont have anymore children and doesn’t have to worry that she is pregnant. Mali says because she does not have a husband she doesn’t want to have any more children. Mali encourages her friends to use Family planning. She says it is so important especially for the young girls, because it is very easy for them to get pregnant, and the men do not care if they do. But if a women has a child before marriage it is very bad for the women, and no man will marry her. Therefore lots of women have unsafe abortions. She says she didn’t plan to get pregnant when she did, and if she had had access to family planning back then, her life would be very different now.
James of Samburu Central
James Lemonga is about 40 years old, he encourages his wife uses family planning. He said family planning is so important because if there is space between the children, both the children and his wife will be stronger. He has 4 children so far, and ideally would like to have 5. James said he does recommend it to his friends because “it is goodness”. James said the problem with the men, is they do not understand family planning. A lot of information is provided for the women, often in secret so the men are left out. It is important for them to be included. It is important for the men to understand things such as the side effects, so if their wife is experiencing them the men understand. James asked CHAT to please come and educate the samburu men on Family planning. He said the men want to know, but they feel like it is a secret the women have, and they don’t like secrets. He said everybody needs to be honest and open about family planning. If they men are informed with the right information they will understand the benefits and then encourage and support their wives. James offered to mobilize the men of Partook on CHAT’s behalf if CHAT promised to come and speak to them.