Jiggers Project

Help Eradicate Debilitating Jiggers



Jiggers are small chigoe fleas that live in the dust, and are found on the dirt floors in schools and the homes of many families in Uganda and other similar climates. These parasitic insects cling to livestock and transfer jiggers into homes primarily in rural areas.

The female jiggers burrow into the surface of skin that has been exposed to the flea. Once embedded in the body, the jigger lays eggs and creates up to pea-size egg sacks and continues to multiply by laying more eggs. These wounds are painful, and cause difficulties for victims in daily activities such as walking, playing, and attending school. The infection can lead to severe inflammation, ulceration and fibrosis. While jiggers in small numbers are not deadly, the secondary infections (gangrene, tetanus and other diseases) caused by jiggers can be fatal. It ca also cause lymphangitis, gangrene, sepsis, and the loss of toenails, amputation of the digits, and death may also occur.

The female jiggers burrow into the skin, usually of the hands and feel, and lay egg sacks which can grow up to the size of a pea. The fleas continue to multiply by laying more eggs, causing an infection which leads the body to become ulcerated and inflamed. Victims often lose their toenails and are forced to have their digits amputated.

There is also a social stigma and shame associated with the victims of joggers which causes them to hide the problem, making it worse.

Jiggers also burrow into the skin of animals like dogs, cats, rats, pigs, cattle and sheep, so people living in rural areas are likely to catch them.

For a complete eradication of the bug, thorough fumigation of homes, schools and animals need to take place.


A solution to this life-threatening problem is widely addressed in Uganda through the efforts of