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.
Justification of the production and social marketing of liquid soap
Hand washing with soap is one of the key measures to prevent infections, such as diarrheal illness, COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Currently the COVID-19 rates have been going down due to accelerated COVID-19 vaccination outreaches and herd immunity. However, there is a recent outbreak of diarrheal illness in the informal settlements which is a public health concern. SWAP is key health stakeholder and member of the Western Kenya Humanitarian Hub and already has been approached by Kisumu County Water and Sanitation and Hygiene Coordinator to intervene. Further the rainy season has started which has led to some flood and people being transferred to overcrowded evacuation centers. Liquid soap is preferred over bar soap. Health care facilities require hand hygiene to prevent hospital acquired infections. Liquid soap is used by both patients, visitors and health workers and is one of the key supplies in the infection prevention and control.
Production of Liquid Soap
Liquid soap is on high demand in the communities we serve. SWAP received Kenya Bureau of Standard approval for the production and distribution for a period of two years. Internal and external control is done by submitting samples for quality control and subjecting it to several tests to meet the desired standards. Production is ongoing, after which labeling is done and it is taken to the central store for safe storage. The Liquid soap is on display at SWAP’s front office, marketed on social media and on SWAP’s website and sold among other health and hygiene products to individuals, health stakeholders and distributed during flood and disease outbreaks. SWAP has over the years many loyal clients and partners, who continue to buy our quality but affordable and life-saving health products. The sales of liquid soap and other health products is a revolving funds and is sustainable, while generating some revenue. However, there is urgent need to invest more into this because of supplies provided for free during emergencies, such as disease outbreaks, flood and other disasters.
Social marketing and distribution of health products and liquid soap
SWAP trained community health volunteers, who are serving 50 to 100 households each with primary health care services. The community health volunteers are trained on social marketing, social behavioral change communication and hygiene promotion and provide basic health education to the households they serve. The community health volunteers are from remote underserved areas and some are widows, others living with HIV with no formal employment. However, through this intervention they become useful members of society by improving health while generating income.
SWAP uses all opportunities to showcase its products and is as key stakeholders invited in all global health days, such as World Water Day, Global Hand Washing Day, World Toilet Day among others. During these days marketing is done of the life-saving products including the liquid soap. Participants can buy or be referred to the SWAP office or community health volunteers. These exhibitions have become essential to reach out to the larger public.
SWAP participated in the celebration of World Water Day 22nd of March 2023 where SWAP donated hand washing stations and Liquid soap, while also participating in a tree planting exercise with other partners at the Water Intake.
Adopt A School Initiative
Other beneficiaries of the Liquid soap are the learners and teachers at Schools through the Adopt a School Initiative. This is an initiative which started due to the COVID-19 pandemic to help schools to comply with COVID-19 rules and regulations. Schools were ill prepared and lacked enough WASH infrastructure. SWAP adopted five schools. Schools were given hand washing stations, liquid soap, water tanks among other supplies such as sanitary pads. Also vaccination and deworming of children was facilitated and some investments made in the feeding program. SWAP trained the teachers on the school health policy and encouraged them to start school health clubs, whereby children take responsibility for hand washing demonstrations and ensure that all stations have water and liquid soap.
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