Kemri to re­search Bu­sia jig­ger plague

Sur­vey, to take six months, will look into treat­ment agent side ef­fects

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Western - JANE CHEROTICH @chep­jayne5

The med­i­cal re­search agency will sur­vey jig­ger in­fes­ta­tion in Bu­sia county to as­cer­tain why it re­mains re­sis­tant even af­ter hy­giene so­lu­tions have been found.

Kenya Med­i­cal Re­search In­sti­tute chair­per­son Dr Lil­ian Apadet said the agency will spend part of the Sh224 mil­lion set aside for gen­eral re­search.

“The re­search will take six months. It will also es­tab­lish whether the potas­sium per­man­ganate used in treat­ing jig­ger vic­tims has any side ef­fects,” she said.

Apadet spoke at Akites mar­ket in Teso South sub­county dur­ing a jig­ger treat­ment camp spon­sored by the Ahadi Kenya Trust and Lotto foun­da­tions and the Bu­sia county govern­ment.

Ahadi CEO Stan­ley Ka­mau wel- comed Kemri’s pro­posal, say­ing no sci­en­tific re­search has been car­ried out to de­ter­mine whether jig­ger in­fes­ta­tion causes men­tal re­tar­da­tion.

Ka­mau, whose or­gan­i­sa­tion also do­nated shoes and slip­pers to vic­tims, said jig­gers are mainly caused by poverty.

He urged fam­i­lies to form self-help groups and start up busi­nesses, es­pe­cially farm­ing and live­stock keep­ing.

Bu­sia Gov­er­nor’s wife Judy Ojaa­mong com­mended the Be­yond Zero clinic for med­i­cal ser­vices dur­ing the camp. She ap­pealed to First Lady Mar­garet Keny­atta to add a sec­ond mo­bile clinic.

“With seven sub­coun­ties, one mo­bile clinic is not enough,” she said.

Teso South MP Mary Emaase said her foun­da­tion is pro­mot­ing ed­u­ca­tion and health to com­ple­ment the work of the county govern­ment. She urged fam­i­lies to main­tain hy­giene for bet­ter health.


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