Fredrick Kayusi Ondabu, Orucho Justine Amadi and Bismark K Agura
Social workers are critical in assessing the social care needs of individuals and providing psycho-social support. However, the management and containment of jigger infestations are not adequately addressed despite tungiasis being a worldwide social and public health concern. Jigger infestation leads to walking difficulties and affects the quality of life, particularly in children. Infested children may suffer from social and psychological problems, including low self-esteem and stigma. To mitigate the negative impact of jigger infestations, social workers have a crucial responsibility to provide psycho-social support to affected children. The study's goal was to investigate the role of social workers in providing psycho-social support to children infested by jiggers in Kisii County, using a descriptive survey design with a sample size of 50 pupils, 50 parents, 20 key informants, and 20 practicing social workers. The study identified poverty, poor hygiene, inadequate health facilities, sharing homes with domesticated animals, political negligence, and limited family size as risk factors contributing to the spread of tungiasis. Social workers should engage with children to assess their social functioning, provide information to help them maintain body hygiene, develop skills to prevent tungiasis, and create support for behavioral change. The study recommends promoting behavioral change in the community and addressing superstitions about the causes of tungiasis.
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