The mis(t)ery disease

Lalatorook or Lalabitiiro (bad teeth, in Masai dialect) is a disease which is giving Maasai’s of Kajiado East constituency sleepless nights. A rare condition in Kenya that has not only left the residents in a limbo, but has also astonished medical community in equal measure. It is a disease that is common among young children ranging between 3-6 months. Lalatorook/Lalabitiiro has signs and symptoms that resemble the malaria disease.

Stories regarding jiggers have been media agenda for long in Kenya. We do get it right that they are caused by one being exposed to areas with lots of dust and dirt, and that they harbor around our toes, legs and even fingers; but again, it is mystical to say and hear that they also harbor beneath the canine teeth of young children and at their foreskins and clitoris.

The Mys(t)ery Disease is an audio documentary that will be highlighting the pain and mystery undergone by parents and people dwelling in Kajiado County, when dealing with a health problemthis The problem has been in existence for the past 30 years, having caused more than 1000 deaths among the young and old; high rate of school dropout, widespread clitoridectomy which is known as a Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early circumcision among the boys (it is important to note that Maasai boys are normally circumcised when they get to class 8).

The documentary is a success story of a lady, Anne, 40, whose child Josiah, 5, was diagnosed with the Lalatorook .

As a communicator and a social activist I know the issue is a crucial one that ought to be addressed effectively because it has the potential of causing high infant mortality rates not only in Kajiado but all around the globe, especially if it is a disease that can be spread over to other regions.

The photo is © of the Masai Association and was used only for illustration purposes.