MannionDaniels/Betty Oloo

Community programmes

MannionDaniels’ mission is to work for an equitable, inclusive and sustainable world, to practice business as a force for social and environmental good

We want to support the positive change we want to see in the world. With this in mind we have started to invest in a number of community programmes, working with local communities, to support the poorest and most vulnerable people to make sustainable changes that will ultimately improve their quality of life.

 

Jiggers Prevention and Control – Kakamega County, Kenya

Since 2018 MannionDaniels has been supporting a community health volunteer project in the county of Kakamega in western Kenya. The parasitic flea Tunga penetrans causes serious suffering and disability in this area. Once the microscopic female flea is embedded in human skin – usually the foot to begin with – it attaches to a blood vessel and expands hugely before shedding hundreds of eggs. This parasitic process causes intense pain and itching and necrosis of flesh. The secondary dangers are tetanus, gangrene, anaemia, impaired immunity, mental health issues, loss of employment and social stigma.

On a visit to Kakamega in 2018 we met a team of dedicated local community workers, calling themselves the Community Health Initiative Group who were treating jiggers in the area of Virhembe, a sub district of Kakamega. Impressed by their dedication, well-kept records and methodical work and aware that their efforts were hampered by lack of funds, we undertook to support them on a regular basis.

On a recent visit by Ruth Mannion and Mercy Nyaga the local school headmaster confirmed the benefits to the children. “We had 50 children with jiggers a few months ago and now, as you see, there is only 12 still receiving treatment.”

The headmaster also reported that he perceived much better performance of children once they had been cleared of jiggers. The team conducts household follow up and has identified several severe cases where children and adults are highly infested with jiggers and this outreach work is now set to be expanded in the new phase of the project.