Written by: Franklin M. Flomo
Zorzor, Lofa County – Several people affected by Nairobi Fly in Zorzor, Lofa County want government and health partners to help deal with the situation.
Although, research shows that a person affected by the fly cannot spread it to another, residents fear the situation because ‘it embarrasses their normal activities’.
They say when it touches one skin you feel reluctant to slammed it because it spoils your skin. Nairobi fly, also known as acid fly, is a red and black fly which is found all over Africa, and germinates more during the rainy season.
“I was walking on the road in the evening when I saw something sitting in my shirt and why trying to remove it I felt water on my nick the next day there was a blister on my skin,” explains Rancy Zawu, a resident of Sucronu Town, Zozor District.
Rancy says this is embarrassing and stops him from strolling in the community at night and has also infected his son. “It (Nairobi Fly) walks on my son and he was unable to go to school the next day”.
Nairobi-fly which is also known as acid fly has been a major problem in Zorzor, Lofa County for over two years with more than fifty persons affected monthly. It is named after the capital city of the East African nation, Kenya and contains a corrosive substance known as pederin – a toxic which causes skin irritation.
The Nairobi Fly is found around swampy areas especially during the rainy season. Locals say the fly should be stop from breeding in humid areas, something they they are unable to do.
For now, residents are sorting their own means to get rid of the acid fly. “The medicine we know for the fly is gas,” continues Rancy. “When the fly crews on you, rub gas on your skin so that blister can’t appear on the spot.”
But experts recommend that just washing the skin with soap and water or buying a recommended skin cream and applying it on the affected spot on your body cure the blister or rash.
Another female resident, Ma Krubo complains: “This thing (Nairobi fly) is really causing embarrassment for us that are living here. The government has to come to see if they can prevent this fly.”
Zozor District Commissioner, Henry Wolobah says the fly has tormented residents in the area during both the dry and rainy seasons.
He asserted that the fly has not prevented locals from their daily works, saying, “I don’t really think the fly can stop people from making farm because the fly usually harm people in the night more than day time and when it crews on you can walk.”
Zorzor District Health Officer, Daniel Fayiah clarifies that the fly doesn’t communicated any virus or disease. “It is a fly with acid and the acid is not good for human body,” he said. “There are no special medicines for Nairobi-fly.”
Mr. Fayiah said during past Nairobi fly situations in the district, health practitioners prescribed special skin cream and adviced affected people to rub gas to the spot on their body that is affected with the acid.
For now, he said they have advised affected people not to rub their skin once the fly comes in contact with it, while clarifying that the situation is not alarming as people think. “Many of the cases that come to hospital are not Nairobi-fly cases except when it is serious, but we see them in the community.”
LocalVoicesLiberia reporter in Zorzor, LofaCounty says Nairobi-fly has increased in the county and residents are calling on government and its health partners to address the situation.