COVID-19  Kenya Project #46097

Help protect 1000 health workers in Western Kenya

Help protect 1000 health workers in Western Kenya
Help protect 1000 health workers in Western Kenya
Help protect 1000 health workers in Western Kenya
Help protect 1000 health workers in Western Kenya
Oct 15, 2021

GlobalGiving Report October 2021



Help protect 1,000 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 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      

COVID-19 Current Status in Kisumu and the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB)

Limited testing, slow vaccine rollout under COVAX, poor logistics, limited health system implementation capacity, and serious vaccine hesitancy are amongst the constraining issues to controlling COVID-19 in this region. While Europe and the USA are potentially moving towards ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination program, Africa is tremendously lagging (less than 3% of the population is vaccinated today). COVAX is seriously behind. Recent research prove that COVID-19 is in fact very much present, though more hidden, due to underreporting and less symptoms. This situation, with high COVID-19 presence at the population level, seriously risks the development of different COVID-19 mutants in the future that could (partly) escape from existing COVID-19 vaccines, creating potential health risks to Kenya. In Kenya’s Lake Region residents’ livelihoods have been significantly disrupted by COVID-19. A raft of measures including dusk to dawn curfew, cessation of movement, social distancing, among others have made subsistence trade difficult, causing widespread food insecurity.

The LREB region with 14 million inhabitants has 2,363 health facilities, 2,870 isolation beds, 137 ICU beds, 1,216 doctors, 8,866 nurses, 30,213 community health workers, 36,213 cases, 117 ambulances, and less than 300,000 and 50,000 have received the first and second doses of vaccine respectively. 

From May 9 2021 onwards, starting in Kisumu, LREB region is experienced a sudden Delta Variant surge, which followed preceding Alpha and Beta surges. This further exacerbated the deteriorating socio-economic situation.

The unstable COVID-19 situation in LREB identified gaps in disease management, response, surveillance, and recovery. These gaps include, but are not limited to insufficient medical oxygen, inadequate testing capacity, need to accelerate COVID-19 testing, understaffed health facilities, little vaccination, waning cross-border disease surveillance, few multidisciplinary clinics to attend to long COVID-19 patients, and lack of social safety nets like health insurance schemes to cushion residents against ravages of the pandemic.

SWAP has a wealth of experience in public health interventions and has worked in collaboration with County Health Management Teams to respond to COVID-19 especially with focus on health care facilities supporting and protecting the frontline work force and the community at large from COVID-19 spread.

For that reason, the GlobalGiving platform was used to source for crowd funding from donors and well-wishers in our effort to protect health workers, reduce the COVID-19 spread and mitigate the impact.

Production and Distribution of Alcohol Based Hand Rub to public health facilities

Following the needs of improved hand hygiene for infection prevention and control of hospital acquired infections including COVID-19, SWAP supplemented the GlobalGiving funds and sought funding from loyal donors to produce its own alcohol based rub (ABHR) to supplement the distribution of hand washing stations and soap.

The ABHR was produced in SWAP’s water lab by a team of lab technicians and approval was granted in December 2020 by the Kenya bureau of standards for a period of two years. Since January 2021 the monthly distribution continued to 50 public health care facilities in Kisumu County for all patient care areas. Distribution is done on needs basis while regular monitoring and evaluation is done to observe use and hand hygiene practices. Alcohol Based Hand Rub is also sold to partner organizations.

In September 2021, SWAP extended the activities to 34 hot spot areas in the region. These are local markets, police stations, administrative offices among others. In these areas, hand washing stations and soap were donated and training was done on hand hygiene and social behavioral change communication. In collaboration with the Public Health Officers, ongoing monitoring of compliance and proper use is done.

STREAM disinfectant generation

SWAP imported 8 STREAM disinfectant generators and installed these following training at health care facilities. The STREAM Disinfectant Generator provides a continuous flow of disinfectant solution (0.5% sodium hypochlorite) from common salt and electricity. The chlorine-based solution generated by the STREAM System complies with national and international guidelines for disinfecting surfaces, medical devices, and instruments. The STREAM Disinfectant Generator is ideal for rural and urban hospitals. The STREAM system produces enough disinfectant to treat up to 240,000 liters (60,000 gallons) per day of water. The 8 facilities selected by Kisumu County Health Management Team now no longer rely on the mostly interrupted external supply but can produce enough chlorine for infection prevention and control.

COVID 19 Vaccine Outreach

Because of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and myths and misconceptions around COVID -19, Kisumu County Health Management Team reached out to partners seeking support of the County Expanded Immunization Officers with COVID-19 outreach. The target group was people living in informal settlements where there is in general overcrowding and poor compliance with COVID-19. Many people living here are not well educated and therefore have limited access to health services and have not taken the initiative to go for COVID-19 vaccinations. To reduce this barrier, mobilization was done prior and the COVID 19 vaccination outreach teams were brought to them in Nyalenda, Obunga and Manyatta informal settlements during a two day exercise on 13th and 14th October 2021. SWAP supported with the mobilization and allowances for the teams mobilizing, vaccinating and recording.



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Organization Information


Location: KISUMU - Kenya
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @swapkenya
Project Leader:
Alie Eleveld
$4,515 raised of $50,000 goal
24 donations
$45,485 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG46097

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