RESTORING HEALTH AND HOPE
Though jiggers are a complex problem, the solutions are simple. Experts have proven a positive correlation between community sensitization and reduction of diseases, and jiggers are no exception. Education has a significant positive impact on communities, as educated individuals can empower their families, friends, and neighbors with their knowledge. Once individuals are educated about jiggers, they are equipped to address the issue right away, helping reduce the occurrence of severe cases.
Jiggers are parasites that embed themselves beneath the skin’s surface—most commonly on the bottoms of the feet—and swell to 1,000 times their size, turning into a pea-sized painful lesion. Jiggers have been long considered a neglected tropical disease, despite their disabling consequences.
The D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation helps support Sole Hope’s jigger-removal services and educational outreach programs to empower those now jigger free to remain jigger free and educate their communities. The Hope Center, which opened in January 2019, has been instrumental to expanding Sole Hope’s capacity to care for those with more critical cases of jiggers. We sponsored the build of the Hope Center and are proud to continue to fund its operations. Through these efforts, Sole Hope impacted the lives of over 39,000 people in 2019.
EDUCATIONEducating communities is imperative to reduce jiggers’ reach
Many families in smaller villages throughout Uganda have extremely limited resources and are often unaware of the root causes of jiggers. Those living in extreme poverty are more susceptible due to lack of good hygiene or health practices, access to clean water, and protective footwear. A common misconception is that jiggers are the result of witchcraft and can stir fear in the community, which leads to an individual's ostracization. With our support, Sole Hope is able to work closely in the communities it serves, destigmatizing the issue and providing free preventative education.
TREATMENTTreatment is simple and sustainable
Sole Hope serves individuals with even the most severe cases of jigger infestations. Treatment is simple, though uncomfortable, requiring each individual parasite to be plucked from the skin with the help of a safety pin. Once the jiggers are removed, individuals enjoy immediate relief; and as they heal, they regain hope that they will return to their normal lives once again. Sole Hope then provides patients with a pair of shoes sustainably constructed out of recycled denim and tires that significantly reduce the likelihood of suffering from jiggers again.
Eleven-year-old Nafunya loves to dance and play with her younger brother, but as her case of jiggers worsened, her pain became so overwhelming that she struggled even to walk, let alone dance, play, or travel to school. Nafunya’s parents brought her to the Hope Center, which rehabilitates patients with severe cases of jiggers. After having 118 jiggers removed, her once aching feet broke loose into dance with other girls at the Hope Center. Today Nafunya dreams of starting a hotel like her mother, who owns a small establishment in their village.READ MORE
Together, we can help equip more individuals with the tools they need to live a jigger-free life. Learn more about how you can get involved in the movement to reduce jiggers’ reach and make a difference right where you are today!