Flight of the flea

Flight of the flea

MAF Uganda team member Fred Lokana has never forgotten the plight of residents in his home village and the health challenges they face

Kodike may be in an obscure location, but this village is on the heart of MAF's Ugandan team member Fred Lokana.

Flying with MAF to Kodlike avoids a 13 hour-drive on roads of abominable quality. During each visit to his home region, Fred brings a combination of food and donations, as well as skilled medical professionals.

On a recent trip, Fred was joined by his wife Jocelyn as well as Dr Anna Cleminson, who speciales in palliative care. The group were warmly welcomed by villagers and an announcement was made that the visitors intended to run a mini clinic the next day.

Word of mouth spread this news rapidly and as dawn broke there was already a queue of villagers waiting to see a doctor and receive medical assistance.

Dr Anna spent the next 9 hours working without a break. They treated people for fungal infections, malnutrition, anaemia and chest infections.

The largest number of patients were treated for chigoe fleas, also known as 'jiggers'. These parasites regularly enter the hands and feet and cause intense irritation and itching. It was not unusual for the team to find people with anything up to 50 jiggers in their skin and nails.

The medical team taught parents how to remove jiggers from their children with a local wild thorn before they became to large or had the chance to lay eggs.

Kodlike may be an obscure community in the far east of Uganda, but MAF is pleased to partner with Fred to bring hope and healing to these otherwise forgotten people.