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Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) researchers have taken the lead in using knowledge to transform communities. Jointly with the Busia County Ministry of Sports, Culture and Social Services, they have rolled out an anti-jigger campaign in Teso South Sub-County. One of the most impactful activities of the campaign was orchestrated on Monday 26th July 2021 in Kaujakito, Amukura.

The campaign was flagged off by the Busia County CS Sports, Culture and Social Services, Dr. Janet Manyasi, and implemented by Dr. Dennis M.W. Ochieno and Mr. Philip Amuyunzu who are MMUST researchers affiliated to the Centre for African Medicinal and Nutritional Flora and Fauna (CAMNFF). The team made several stopovers in the Sub-County where many members of the communities in dire need of the services attended the function.


Speaking during the campaign, Dr. Manyasi applauded the University Management led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo for allowing such a great initiative to take place in Busia County. She said that jiggers have become a menace that torments many people, especially school going children in Busia County. She further said as a government, they are ready to support any mission towards eradication of the jigger menace. She reiterated the need for the two institutions to upscale this important activity as provided by the MoU through a structured and sustainable approach.

“Tungiasis caused by jigger fleas is a neglected disease that directly affects the productivity of Kenyan citizens in Busia County and many other parts of this Country. As a County we need healthy people to work and help in achieving economic growth in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. I am therefore grateful to the MMUST management for this gesture and humbly request that this be a continuous exercise so that we can completely eradicate the jigger threat among our people”, she said.

Mr. Amuyunzu, the Anti-Jigger Champion within the Lake Region Economic Block (LAREB), who is also the President of the Biophysical Society (Kenya), on the other hand exuded confidence that it is easy to eradicate the jigger menace from Busia County. He noted that jigger infestation is a disease like any other, but it has been neglected in many formal medical systems. “Jiggers lower people’s self-esteem, making them run away from the public due to deep-rooted stigma in many African communities”, he said. He called upon members of the community, MMUST and the County Government of Busia to jointly address the issue in order to eliminate the embarrassing disease. He further assured members of the community in Busia that MMUST will continue carrying out research to come up with indigenous remedies that can easily kill jiggers without affecting members of the community.


Busia County Government was also represented by the Chief Officer in the Department of Sports, Culture and Social Services, Mr. Joe Maurice Odundo, the Director Department of Sports, Mr. Peter Ogulla and the Kaujakito area Chief, Mr. George Okemer. Other members in the MMUST team present included the MMUST-CAMNFF affiliated Medical Microbiologist Mr. Peter Nyongesa and the research assistants Elizabeth Mwende, Feyseyne Isiye, Victoria Naluyange, Amos Wanekeya and Simon Barasa Owana. 

by Wilberforce Shiundu

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