Help protect 1000 health workers in Western Kenya
Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP) has been operating in Western Kenya since 2005 with public health programs, research and emergency response. SWAP's mission is to provide innovative solutions for improved health and economic status of communities. SWAP has joined the Ministry of Health COVID 19 rapid response teams to help prevent the spread and mitigate the impact. The Founder and Technical Advisor of SWAP was appointed as member of the COVID-19 Advisory Committee of Lake Region Economic Bloc, providing advisory services to the Governors of 14 Counties in the region.
The scope of the problem
Healthcare facilities in resource-limited settings lack essential WASH and health care waste services.
- 50% Lack access to piped water
- 33% Lack improved Sanitation
- 39% Lack soap for hand washing or alcohol based hand rub
- 39% Lack adequate infectious waste disposal
The period under review was very challenging due a National Health Workers strike protesting against delayed salaries and insufficient protective personal equipment, which saw most of the public health facilities closed or with reduced activities. In March 2021 this ended following negotiations with the county governments and health workers resumed duties.
Some COVID-19 statistics
Since 13 March 2020 when the first case was confirmed in Kenya, a total of 106,470 confirmed cases and 1,863 have died giving a case fatality rate of 1.7% have been line-listed. Of these, 105,136 cases (99%) were local transmissions and 1,334 (1%) are imported cases. (2nd March 2021)
Besides, the COVID-19 outbreak has so far spread to 100% of the counties in the country. Risk communication, laboratory testing, and contact tracing have been identified as key challenges. One hundred and five thousand one hundred and thirty-six – 105,136 (99%) of the 106,470 confirmed cases are local transmissions. The government is seeking at least 24 million doses of COVID 19 vaccine in the first instance, through the GAVI COVAX facility, to cover at least 20% of its population. The most vulnerable (Health Workers, Elderly, and Individuals with comorbid conditions) will be prioritized.
The South African COVID-19 variant (B.1.351/501Y.V2) of concern has now been detected in two persons in the coastal region of Kenya from samples collected in Mid-December 2020.The country continues to strengthen its routine surveillance to track COVID-19 Variants. WHO recommends that one of the indicators that the pandemic is under control, is when < 5% of samples tested are positive for COVID-19 for the past 2 weeks, assuming that surveillance for suspected cases is comprehensive and testing rate of suspect cases, is optimum at least 1/1000 population/week.
The past two weeks Kenya experienced a positivity rate of 8.1%. Among the cases who had their occupation filled in, a cumulative of 3,207 health professionals (4 new cases) and 32 mortalities (No new deaths) have been reported in all the 47 counties.
Production and Distribution of Alcohol Based Hand Rub to health facilities
Following the needs of improved hand hygiene for infection control and prevention of hospital acquired infections including COVID-19, SWAP sought funding from loyal donors to produce its own alcohol based rub to supplement the already provided hand washing stations.
We received technical support to produce Alcohol Based Hand Rub (ABHR) from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). For the production we used the WHO formulae to make the ABHR and received approval from the Kenya Bureau of Standards. The ABHR was produced in SWAPs lab by a team of lab technicians and following approvals we started the distribution to 42 public health care facilities in Nyando and Nyakach Sub County to all patient care areas. Monthly rounds of distribution and monitoring of use continued though on a reduced scale due to the National Health Workers strike which affected many health facilities. Other facilities remained functional through partners. However,this activity will be scaled again in March 2021 now that the industrial strike has been called off.
The distribution procedure included;
- Brief interview with nurses
- highlights on appropriate usage
- Sticking of the Standard operating procedures on walls of all patient care areas where the ABHR is distributed.
Mapping was also done to identify other hot spots and high risk areas to support with Alcohol Based Hand Rub moving forward. SWAP for sustainability is selling this product to stakeholders, partner organizations individuals and through door to door sales by community health volunteers.
WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT AND DONATIONS Attachments: