How Previous Denims Are Serving to Individuals With Jiggers in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda — A blood-sucking flea that chews its method into folks’s our bodies and lays a whole lot of eggs that infest and eat away the pores and skin of its victims might sound like fiction proper out of a horror movie. Tragically, it’s a actuality for hundreds of individuals in Uganda. Jiggers are a typical parasitic pores and skin illness in Uganda that has largely been untreated and left to wreak havoc within the lives of lower-income households. Nonetheless, Sole Hope is utilizing previous denims to revive hope and produce therapeutic to folks with jiggers in Uganda.

What are Jiggers?

Jiggers, formally often known as Tungiasis, is an infestation of sand fleas that causes a parasitic pores and skin situation. Sand fleas, or jiggers, burrow into an individual’s pores and skin, normally getting into by the ft, and feed on their host’s blood. Upon first getting into the physique, the jigger is sort of invisible. Nonetheless, inside days of feeding, it swells and enlarges, making a pea-sized lump underneath the pores and skin.

Whereas feeding on their hosts’ blood, jiggers repeatedly lay eggs that may hatch, mature and develop. These hatchlings lay extra eggs, repeating the cycle and resulting in a painful infestation. Whereas jiggers can result in extreme infections and in some circumstances loss of life, the commonest issues related to jigger infestations embrace ache within the affected areas, irritation, an infection, ulcerations and lack of toenails.

In 2012, jiggers reportedly affected 2.four million folks in Uganda. In 2010, 20 folks had been reported useless from jiggers. Jiggers typically impression lower-income and poverty-stricken communities that lack entry to correct hygiene services. Many of those folks wouldn’t have sneakers and stay in dirt-floor homes with animals roaming out and in. All these situations depart them prone to the parasite. Many in Uganda imagine jiggers are an untreatable “curse.” So, some are ostracized from their communities in the event that they turn into infested, by no means receiving the therapy and assist they want.

Sole Hope in Uganda

In 2013, after seeing first-hand the ache and devastation brought on by jiggers in Uganda, the Collies, a household from the U.S., had been decided to assist. They first looked for a neighborhood Ugandan program that was working to sort out the widespread jigger downside however discovered none, so Sole Hope was born. The NGO’s mission is straightforward, it really works to rework and restore folks’s lives by eradicating jiggers and making certain once-infested folks stay jigger-free.

To perform this purpose, Sole Hope conducts clinics in rural villages, eradicating hundreds of jiggers in a single day. The method includes making an incision within the contaminated pores and skin and eradicating the jigger’s egg sack. This fast however typically painful process is repeated a whole lot and even hundreds of occasions on an individual’s physique till they’re declared 100 p.c jigger-free. But it surely’s not that easy, shares Sole Hope: “There’s a lot extra to jigger elimination and long-term care than internet hosting a clinic.” Since jiggers most frequently enter by the host’s ft, Sole Hope knew offering sneakers to jigger victims could be key to making sure they continue to be jigger free. That is the place previous denims are available.

Previous Denims and Jiggers

Made out of donated denim, recycled plastic milk jugs and previous tires, Sole Hope’s sneakers are each sturdy and cost-effective. Sole Hope affords a shoemaking get together package for buy on their web site. Individuals from everywhere in the world can buy the shoemaking package, which incorporates the shoe sample and tutorial supplies. They then host a shoe chopping get together the place family and friends can spend a night chopping up their previous denims for a trigger. The person items are despatched to Sole Hope the place they’re then shipped off to Uganda and assembled by native tailors and shoemakers.

Sole Hope actively employs greater than 60 Ugandans. Along with eradicating jiggers and offering communities with sneakers, Sole Hope educates Ugandans about jiggers, what they’re, the way you get them and easy methods to stay jigger-free. It teaches kids, adults and communities easy methods to correctly fight the parasite by clear water and elimination provides. Sole Hope additionally addresses and debunks generally held false beliefs about jiggers being a “curse.”

Jiggers have an effect on numerous Ugandans, stealing their lives and hope from them. Due to Sole Hope, jiggers in Uganda have gotten much less of a risk, and hundreds of Ugandans at the moment are having fun with a restored life with out the illness.

-Sarah Musick
Photograph: Flickr

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