Kenyan scientists led by Dr Stanley Kamau, the man behind the anti-jigger campaign in the country, have embarked on a project to build a museum in Murang’a town preserve jiggers.
Already, the Ahadi Kenya CEO has laid the groundwork for the museum by collecting samples that will form its nucleus. If all goes to plan, the museum will open its doors to the public in March 2017, exactly ten years since the anti-jigger campaign was started, the Standard reports.
At Ahadi Kenya office in Nairob, Kamau has preserved tens of dead jiggers that were removed from victims. Dead fleas are in another container.
“I do not want to talk about jiggers for more than 10 years. I intend to open a museum that will among other things, showcase these jiggers and the soil in which they thrived. The museum will help health researchers from around the globe learn about the problem,” says Mr Kamau.
ALSO SEE: DRAMA AS WOMAN STORMS WEDDING IN NAKURU
He chose to construct the museum in Murang’a since that is where the campaign started. “It will be a constant reminder of the trials that we went through as we sought to fight a problem that seemed insurmountable.”
In addition, Mr Kamau cites the recent formulation of a jigger policy that lays the framework for official government intervention as another key factor in establishing the museum.
He says the National Policy Guidelines on Prevention and Control of Jigger Infestations puts the jigger issue squarely in the hands of Government. “We started our campaigns without a policy, literature or research on the subject. Victims can now go to any public hospital and be treated for jiggers, just like any other ailment,” says Mr Kamau.
To remind future generations of the lifestyles once led by former jigger victims, Mr Kamau plans to build a typical, mud-walled homestead, complete with the tools used to remove jiggers.
“These will include traditional herbs as well as the seeds of the bitter Sodom apple (ndongu) and safety pins that villagers used to extract the jiggers. We will also portray the gloomy lifestyle of people infested by jiggers,” says Mr Kamau.
NEXT READ: KENYAN’S CHOPPER DREAM YET TO FLY OFF