Relationship between Jigger Infestation and Children’s Participation in School activities in Gatundu District, Kiambu County, Kenya
Makena, Beatrice Mwebia
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This study intended to investigate the relationship between jigger infestation and participation at school by pre-primary school and lower primary school children. The objectives of the study were to find out the relationship between jigger infestation and children‟s rate of school attendance, performance in outdoor activities, academic performance and dropping out of school. 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. The sample size was eleven schools. Purposive sampling technique was applied to sample 44 jigger infested children in these schools. An equal number of pupils not infested were randomly sampled to be compared with those who were infested. The teachers handling pre-primary school and lower primary classes were also purposively sampled. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires for teachers, observations and document analysis. 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. The study concluded that jiggers were a major threat to the realization of children‟s educational goals. The Pearson correlation coefficient indicated that jiggers significantly affected children‟s play in outdoor activities at r =0.306, and significantly lead to high dropout rates at r = 0.311. They also reduced school attendance at r = -0.123 and lead to slightly poor academic performance at r = -0.005.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.