Tungiasis-related risk factors in rural communities in Murang'a County, Kenya
Jigger infestation is high in many resource-poor communities in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The jigger flea is scientifically known as Tunga penatrans and it is an ecto-parasite which thrives well in sandy and dirty environments. It causes a skin disease called tungiasis. The parasite is common in urban slums, traditional fishing communities and rural communities. The importance of jigger infestation is localization in the foot causing serious difficulty in walking hence reducing the infected person's ability to work normally. Prevalence and infestation intensity are particularly high in children 5-15 years of age and the elderly. Although there has not been a comprehensive national survey on jigger menace in Kenya, Ahadi Kenya Trust has registered over 2.6 million jigger infested people and over 10 million are at risk of infection. Further, all the former eight provinces have reported cases of jigger infestation with Central province leading the pack. A large number of children in Central province drop out of school every year due to jigger infestation. Many people continue to suffer from jigger infestation in this region silently as there is little or no political goodwill in the fight against this menace. Despite efforts by the Ministry of Health to address the problem of jigger infestation in the country with more emphasis in this region, children and other members of the community especially the old are still infested thus this study proposes to assess tungiasis related risk factors in rural communities in Murang'a East District. It is one of the 20 districts which are considered to have high prevalence of jigger infestation by the ministry of health. The district total area is approximately 110 square kilometers with a population of 98,629 and 26,812 households. Cross sectional descriptive study design will be used in this research. The research will adopt random sampling design to identify the households to be studied. A total of 334 households will be selected determined by fisher et al 1998 formula (n=Z'pq/ d2). Data will be collected using structured questionaire and observation checklist. The collected data will then be entered and coded using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. Both descriptive and inferential statistics will be used to analyze data. Authority to carry out this research will be sought from Graduate School of Kenyatta University. Clearance will be obtained from Kenyatta University Ethical Review Committee and the Kenya National Council of Science Technology and Innovation. The Deputy County Commissioner and the District Medical Officer of Health for Murang' a East District will give their permission before the research starts. Participants will be notified about the purpose of the study and their consent sought.