Gladys removing jiggers and applying oil to maria
To Our Friends and Supporters,
Meet Maria from the Nyamusi ward of Nyamira, Kenya. She is elderly and a good example of many grandmothers and grandfathers who live with their grandchildren. Like many of her age mates she is jigger infested and an ardent supporter of FGM.
HFAW recently did an advocacy in Nyamusi School and found students who are jigger infected. We discovered that their grandparents are jigger infested as well. An earlier project with elderly and women living with disabilities had already exposed this jigger problem. Maria recounted how she had lost her daughter to diseases including jiggers. Because she is poor and did not own even a radio, she had no access to information on jigger’s prevention and issues of FGM.
It is hard to close our eyes to such a problem even though it is outside our mandate. Our role was to sanitize her and her house as well as educate about jigger issue and its eradication. We also spoke with other our trained health promoters to begin extending our work to this unreached village. In addition, we were able to educate her and others on FGM and its consequences. She was surprised that FGM was a harmful practice because she was teaching people to do it.
‘I didn’t know FGM is harmful’ said Maria. She encouraged us to tell the younger people.
She was grateful for the jigger treatment including that of her grandchildren.
Dear friend, we thank you for choosing to walk this journey of transforming the lives of girls and women and men in our community. What we did to the few grandmothers and grandfathers is the tip of the ice bug. Many more women need to be reached. It is one of the most heartbreaking situation we have ever come across. Kindly continue sharing with your friends and family so that they can support our work. Many grandmothers and grandfathers and children who are jigger infested expect us to go back and sanitize more homes.
Gladys washing Maria's legs
Maria telling a story about her daughter who died
Jiggers infestation on his feet and toes
Maria's legs before being washed