The national Ministry of Health has declared an outbreak of Tungiasis or jigger infection in Lobone Payam of Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria State.
A total of 78 case-patients including 48 males (62%) and 31 females (4W/o) were recorded and according to the ministry, the age group 1-10 years had the highest recorded infestation with Tunga penetrans amounting to 41%.
It is followed by the age group 50-59yrs amounting to 12.8% with teenagers contributing 3.8%.
The ministry says, that due to the limited investigation period, the number of cases recorded in the area only represents a small proportion of the community investigated.
Early last month, the state ministry led a multisectoral task force to Leanne Payam and Iswore, Lomarati, and Gara villages to investigate the reported alert.
The team constructed an operational case definition for tungiasis to conduct the investigation and a case of tungiasis was defined as anybody with visible live fleas appearing with a whitish disc varying in size with a dark point in the upper and lower limbs or any parts of the body.
Using the case definition, the multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral team conducted case searches in the community and also visited health facilities to take records of case patients.
In the absence of a formal surveillance system, and lack of expected baseline levels, the evidence generated from the above field investigation warrants the need to address tungiasis as a public health threat in the affected area of Lobone Payam and other surrounding areas.
Tungiasis, commonly known as Jigge z parasitic connection due to infestation with adult female sand flea, Tunga penetrant.
The larvae and pupae develop in dry shaded soils, mostly inside the sleeping rooms of houses with unseated cards & J) or where most transmission occurs.
lt occurs in marginalized, resource-poor populations in the tropics of the Caribbean, South America and sub-Saharan Africa.
The ministry warns of the negative impacts of tungiasis as it can cause immense pain and itching.
South Sudan like other Countries in the region has not established a format surveillance system for tungiasls and hence no data is available to monitor and drive policy actions.
In August 2023, an alert of Tunga penetrans infestation was received from Magwi and lkotos County by FBZ, a national NGO operating in the area.
The counties share borders from Katire in lkotos and Lobone Payam in Magwi county, and they also share borders with Uganda from the South.
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