Contributions of socio-economic and cultural factors in Tungiasis at Kwakombo village in Korogwe district, Tanzania
Background: Tungiasis is an ectoparasitosis caused by the female sand flea, Tunga penetrans, or jiggers, which is an important, but not easily seen public health problem. Tungiasis is prevalent in many developing countries, in South America, Caribbian and Sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania.
Objectives: To describe tungiasis and possible contributing socio-economic and cultural factors at Kwakombo Village in Korogwe District, Tanzania.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study, which used quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The sample included, randomly selected 720 villagers from a total of 3500 residents of Kwakwombo Village, surveyed for presence of Tungiasis infestation followed by a description of the 300 Tungiasis affected people Thirty four village leaders and 4 healthcare workers of the Village participated in the qualitative survey.
Results: Out of the sample of 720 300 (41.7%) had infestation with Tunga penetrans, the majority of whom 207(69%) were males. The most vulnerable age group was 5-14 years (47%) and majority (95%) live in houses that are roofed with grass,with muddy floors and muddy walls, as well as share their houses with domestic animals, and 58% don’t wear shoes.
Recommendations: More research is needed to establish the prevalence of the disease in the rest of Korogwe and Tanzania. Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and social leaders in Korogwe should be made aware and active against the disease.