Today we went to an orphanage home to treat "Jigger feet". Jiggers, not to be confused with chiggers, live in the sand in Liberia. The tiny bug burrows into the skin, most commonly on the feet, and can be extremely painful. Let's just say, these things are disgusting!
We had the children soak their feet and scrub them with soap. Then, each child got a new pair of slippers. The children at this particular home have a really hard time with taking responsibility for their things. They are always barefoot or loosing their shoes. I decided to challenge them; we wrote their names on their slippers, and I told them I would come back in 3 weeks. If they can show me their slippers, even if they're cut or spoiled, then I will give them a pair of shoes. I also told them that any of us could stop by at anytime between now and then, and we'll be looking for slippers on everyone's feet. I'm really hoping that this method works, because we had kids in serious pain and tears today just from washing feet!
I realize that providing slippers is only a temporary step to prevention and if the kids aren't wearing their shoes then they will always have jiggers. We are researching the best way to get rid of the jiggers, and we've found some info on different insecticides that can be used to treat the sand. Mostly I hope that when Mother was sitting there watching her children scream, that she will take Jiggers more seriously, and really make an effort to make the children wear their shoes. I apologize for those of you who think this is gross, but the reality is that this is life for these children. I think I've given enough warning, so on to the nasty pictures.