Reaching out to families affected by jigger fleas in Kenya

St John Ambulance volunteers in Kenya are continuing their efforts in reaching out to families in places such as Shinyalu where households have been infested by jigger fleas.

Jiggers, or chigoe fleas, are sand fleas found in Sub-Saharan climates that burrow into the skin and lay eggs. They cause swelling, itching and infection which can lead to amputation and even death in the worst cases. Cutting the fleas out of the foot and soaking it in alcohol or another disinfectant is the only way to treat the disease once an infestation has occurred.

In Kenya, an estimated 1.4 million people (roughly 4 per cent of the total population) suffer from jigger infestation.

Not only are the St John volunteers helping those who have been infected; they are also cleaning the homes and teaching household members how to control the infestation of jigger fleas.