Jigger Infestation a Menace to Children’s School Attendance
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This study intended to investigate the relationship between jigger infestation and participation at school by preprimary school and lower primary school children. The objective of the study was to find out the relationship between jigger infestation and children’s rate of school attendance. The study was carried out in Gatundu District because it is one of the highly jigger infested districts in Kiambu County, Kenya. The study utilized the Ecological systems theory and it employed the descriptive survey design. The population of the study comprised of pre-primary, lower primary school children and their class teachers from all the public schools in Gatundu District. Forty four jigger infested children were purposively sampled for the study. An equal number of pupils not infested were randomly sampled to be compared with those who were infested. The teachers handling preprimary school and lower primary classes were also purposively sampled. Questionnaires for teachers, observations schedules for children and document analysis were utilized for data collection. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis were applied. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to prepare and organize data for analysis. Pearson’s correlation coefficient test was used to compute the relationship between the variables. Frequency distribution tables, percentages, and descriptions were utilized for data presentations. Findings revealed that jiggers were a major threat to the realization of children’s educational goals. The Pearson correlation coefficient indicated that jigger affected children’s school attendance in that r = - 0.123, n=44 and sig(2 tailed)= 0.426.The study recommends that the school managers liaises with other stakeholders to seek for strategies of curing those infested, carry out routine checkups on children and sensitize communities on the causes, dangers and preventive measures of the jigger parasite in order to help all children realize their full educational potential in life.