This video broke our hearts. It shows Ugandan children who are seriously infected with jiggers, small sand fleas that enter bare feet and burrow into the skin. If left untreated, jiggers become a huge problem, leading to infections, paralysis and even amputation. Click the video to the right to watch.
How parasites affect African children
The World Health Organization explains how specific soil borne conditions such as jiggers affect many third world countries and their children.
Female jiggers or sand fleas burrow into humans to lay their eggs creating open sores or wounds, which are prone to parasitic infection. People who do not wear closed toe shoes, such as children, are most commonly affected.
When the female is almost fully developed an infestation begins to irritate and itch, causing severe inflammation and ulceration. If the female flea dies in the skin it may cause a secondary infection, which, if ignored, could lead to tetanus, gangrene, and even the loss of a toe.