Easter Equatoria State, News

Jiggers invade community in Eastern Equatoria state

By Ijoo Bosco Modi

Several villages in Iswore Boma in Eastern Equatoria state of South Sudan, have been invaded parasitic Jiggers.

The affected villages include Iswore, Gara, Argentina, Kicenga, Tingili, Lobone, hai Matara,Tingili, Kicenga and Lomarate center, among others.

According to Iswore Boma Chief, David Ochan, since May last year, about ten people have died of Jiggers infection in Iswore and Argentina bomas.

“Yes, since May last year to the moment, ten people have so far died and
hundreds are currently suffering as you can see for yourself.”
Ochan said.

The chief said that members of every household in the area are suffering Jiggers both young and the elderly.

‘Worst of all are the women from aged 5 to 18 and above all are sick in this payam,” Ochan added.

Chief Ochan lamented that the jigger infection has deformed many people, limiting their movement from one area to another without any access to health facility.

The community has no single health facilities not even a private clinic for the citizen to run to for medical assistance” Chief Ochan lamented.

Ochan described the Boma as one of the forgotten areas in eastern Equatoria state where services do not reach.

“As if we are not parts of the state,” the chief pondered.

Ochan called on partners to intervene in supporting the Jiggers affected population with other citizens who have recently returned from exile in Uganda.

The Boma chief was speaking to an emergency team of health partners who had visited the area to conduct an assessment on the jigger infection.

According to Ochan, the Jiggers outbreak in Iswore and its neighboring
villages affect at least one hundred and sixty households.

“In every family, you find more than two to three people are infected with jiggers,” the chief stressed.

Meanwhile, Iswore boma youth leader, Okot Stephen decried lack of road access to link them to health facilities in Lobone payam headquarter.

Okot said that because of a mountainous nature of the terrain, the people face challenges to reach out for health services.

The youth leader calls on the state government and health partners to support the community to fixing bridges destroyed by heavy rains within Iswore boma.

“We the youth do carry our people on shoulders through these mountains to Lobone to seek for medication. The issue of bad road is affecting us,” Okot said.

Okot disclosed that, most community members resorted to using traditional herbs to manage minor sickness as oppose to major issues like Jiggers that needs a better medical attentions.

He appeals to health partners to intervene and save the lives of the
poor population by providing an emergency drugs and construction of
health facility to manage the sickly people who might not walk
long distances.

Okot explains that, the prevalence of jiggers is alarming every
household in the villages with people’s toes, fingers, and even the buttocks including other parts of the body infected by the parasite.

“We are all praying for a quick intervention against this outbreak because after assessment. Let’s hope it will not take longer to come back and save our people from the disastrous Jiggers that are finishing our population,” Okot emphasized.

World Health Organization (WHO) led the team of over 8 health partners that visited the area to conduct a weeklong assessment on the magnitude of jigger infection.



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