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Archive for April 16th, 2013

Kenya: Dealing with jiggers

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2013

Jiggers have continued to wreak havoc in many lives in the rural schools. A number of school going children have had to drop out of school because they are unable to walk.

A Non-Governmental organization Rise Up decided to ease this problem at Khwiroro primary school in Kimilili district of Bungoma county by holding an anti-jigger campaign that saw them treated in an exercise that exposed their ordeals that have negatively affected their concentration in class.

The vibrant initiative graced by Rise up Director Jim Nduruchi,saw over fifty infested pupils removed jiggers and the later treated one after the other with disinfectants with some having worse situations where the jiggers were found to have infested their hands and even to the extent of their mouth.
According to Rise Up we Director Mr.Nduruchi, the exercise was to ensure innocent pupils are given a chance to lead a comfortable life and enable them concentrate in class a situation that has been really affected by the jigger menace throughout the county.
However, the parents were also challenged to maintain high levels of cleanliness at their homes saying it will help a great deal in fighting jigger infestation. Mr.Nduruchi says teachers should sensitize pupils on standard hygiene and embark on a sustained drive to bring the situation under control. “You have to clean up your houses thoroughly, smear them with cow dung, bath your children on a daily basis as it will help you keep the jiggers away,” advised Nduruchi.
In addition, he lashed out at other organizations that has shown up claiming to be involved in anti- jigger campaigns in the community saying they are doing sub standard services of only telling infected people to deep their feet in chemicals without first removing jiggers from them.
Kimilili District Rise- Up Chairman Wanyonyi Bwisa promised that the Rise Up organization will conduct a door to door anti- jigger campaign so as to reach those who fear to show up in public to have an exclusive treatment.
The chairperson also urged the government to facilitate the carrying out of a comprehensive baseline survey on the number of pupils infected with jiggers in the country. Mr.Wanyonyi says the survey would help gather data on the number of children who drop out of school annually due to the horrific drama.
The affected areas as the research conducted by the Rise up are Chebukwabi, Khwiroro and parts of Kamusinga “ we are working on a program of ensuring we tour all the affected areas to provide our services to the benefit of our community” promised Mr.Wanyonyi. Ahadi Trust anti jiggers campaign ambassador Cecilia Mwangi two years back started the campaigns that caught the nation off guard.
Through her campaign, the Ministry of Education had also risen to the reality of the jiggers’ problem.
Since Ahadi trust raised the issue many other organizations have been visiting homes and schools of people infested with jiggers and offering food, clothing and medical assistance.

In Bumula constituency where the jiggers menace is reported to be very high, the area former Member of Parliament, Bifwoli Wakoli, had earlier commissioned a study to be carried out in all learning institutions, to find out what could be done to eradicate this problem.

A study carried out in Bumula District of Bungoma County has shown that all the primary schools in the area consistently record dropout cases, citing that most of the jigger infested pupils were avoiding being laughed at by their colleagues.

According to research, the major cause is said to be poor hygiene conditions. The most visible effect of the attack is the inability to walk easily due to the pain in the affected areas of the body especially the legs.
It also includes inability to carry out normal daily activities and the stigmatization by other people.However; this also leads to loss of self-esteem that result from stigmatization. Infections such as HIV/Aids may also be passed between patients sharing same pins.
The treatment of the infection involves the extraction of the entire insect. The breaking of the jigger is likely to cause inflammation and other infections. The breaking of jigger is likely to cause inflammation and other infection thus is recommended for the victim to soak the feet in an alcoholic solution such as hydrogen peroxide or dettol and savlon.
Poor people living in unhygienic dwellings get jiggers because of the unsanitary nature of the dwellings.
This renders the poor unable to rise out of poverty or makes them even poorer. They are however trapped in vicious cycle of poverty for a long time unless timely and appropriate intervention breaks the cycle. The jigger is a parasite capable of visiting untold misery on victims more so children.
The jigger vicious cycle is among the easiest to break because it mostly afflicts small populations of uneducated poor in endemic zones. The jigger and poverty vicious cycle can be broken through cost-effective intervention almost any angle.
This can be effected through improved hygiene and sanitation in homes to eradicate fleas creating better housing with smooth environment where the fleas cannot hide.



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3 dead, 10 have lost their limbs and 154 seriously injured in Boston USA

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2013

Bombings in Boston, USA has taken 3 lives so far, and it is reported that 10 have lost their limbs while 154 are seriously injured. There is fear that many more may lose their limbs while under treatment because of the serious injuries.

The US authorities led by FBI are investigating, in their efforts to find out who planted the bomb. No suspect has been arrested by now.

FBI are working hard to find out what type of bomb and how it was built. The devices were put in a thrash can at the finish line in this Boston Marathon.. The two bombs went off minutes apart disrupting the marathon. Many people did not finish their race.

The organisers say they will not abandon their yearly famous marathon because of this, but they will use the experience of what has happened to plan better security around the race next year. This yearly Boston Marathon attracts famous runners from all over the world.



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Dental dilemma: Not enough dentists

Posted by African Press International on April 16, 2013

Not enough dentists

MBABANE,  – Having a toothache in Swaziland can be a lot more painful than it is in many other places. Most Swazis have never visited a dentist, because in a country where 70 percent of the population lives in absolute poverty, oral hygiene is considered a luxury.

Swaziland’s 1.2 million people are served by only nine private dentists: five are in the capital, Mbabane, four are doing business in the central commercial hub, Manzini, and one is located in the up-scale Mbabane suburb of Ezulwini.

A further 15 dental practitioners are employed by the Ministry of Health, including nurses and dental hygienists, but none are specialists who can perform such procedures as root canal work or the fitting of false teeth.

Even getting a filling for a tooth is almost impossible at either of the two government hospitals in Mbabane, or at the facility in Siteki, the eastern provincial capital. The public hospital in Manzini does not currently have any dental practitioners assigned to it.

“In the morning you find a queue of thirty to forty people, and it is the same in the afternoon. For that number a dentist can extract thirty for forty teeth, but he has no time for fillings or anything else more sophisticated than tooth pulling,” a private dentist told IRIN.

“People think you go to the dentist to get a nice smile, and nobody ever dies of a toothache,” said Pauline Dube, a mother of three who says she cannot afford to give her children regular dental checkups. While she works in Manzini, her children stay in a rural part of the southern Shiselweni Province, a region with no dental practitioners at all. Rural areas are not provided with any sort of dental service.

As diets change and Swazis consume more processed foods, the need for dental care has become even more pressing.

“Our teeth have not adapted yet to soft sugary foods. What we now find are Swazi teeth with cavities like in the developed world. For Swazi young people, no tooth fillings are available except from expensive dentists, who are less than ten in the whole country and they work far from most people,” the dentist told IRIN. “So, the tooth is extracted. Most Swazis go to traditional doctors, but these healers can only offer pain suppressants for tooth pain.”

Having a toothache can be a lot more serious in Swaziland. The commonly held belief that dental problems may be painful but are not fatal has changed due to HIV/AIDS. Gum disease can lead to infections that can lead to the death of a person whose immune system has been decimated by HIV, the dentist noted. However, knowledge about gum infections is virtually nonexistent amongst Swazis, who have the world’s highest rate of HIV infection.

“I tell all my patients to test for HIV. The danger at government hospitals where they extract teeth is when a person with AIDS cannot produce the white blood cells to cause the blood to coagulate, and the bleeding cannot be stopped. If a patient with AIDS develops oral shingles, this can be a precursor to a more serious life-threatening disease. But the doctors don’t know enough about what goes on inside the mouth to detect this,” the dentist said.

Despite the need, no public awareness campaigns promoting dental knowledge and oral hygiene have so far been run. Yet tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented with a simple daily regimen of tooth brushing and flossing.

Swaziland is not the only country on the continent with tooth troubles. “The state of dental research in Africa is lamentable when compared to the other continents,” the African Journal of Oral Health (AJOH) noted in an editorial. “While this situation is unacceptable, it is not surprising because oral health personnel on the continent are not yet strategically placed to be able to influence health policy and decisions on funding.”

jh/kn/he  source


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