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Free shoes protect Ugandans against dangerous parasites

The Sole Hope NGO is treating villagers in Uganda and providing shoes to help prevent parasitic attacks.

Yusuf Kagwa, a 45-year-old farmer in eastern Uganda, had more than 2,500 burrow marks caused by female sand fleas called ‘jiggers’, that had burrowed their way under his skin. The health issue he was afflicted with is widespread throughout parts of Uganda and, if left untreated, can lead to fatal secondary infections.

Sole Hope – a US-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) which was helping Ugandan villagers – heard about Mr Yusuf's situation and took steps to help him. After a painful treatment which lasted about three weeks, he returned to his village. News spread quickly that he had returned, not only alive, but also free of jiggers.

People reportedly gathered in large numbers to ask him questions and shake his hand. More importantly, others came forward to be helped. Once treated, many Ugandans are receiving new shoes made from donated jeans material and old tyres, because encouraging people to cover their feet is part of the battle against the parasite.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 3 of the December 2015 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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