For 14 years the Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP) has supported healthcare professionals in western Kenya. SWAP works with the nation’s COVID-19 rapid response teams to stall the spread and mitigate the impact of the virus, partly by reaching out to remote public health facilities with hand-washing stations, soap, masks, and hygiene promotion.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spreads in Kenya, it reaches facilities that are ill-equipped and remote. Erratic weather has flooded some areas, and health workers often lack training and protective and prophylactic supplies. A chronic shortage of essential supplies incurs a high risk of hospital-acquired infections.
Emergencies such as flood and cholera, unrelated to COVID-19, are being addressed in support of the larger anti-viral mission. SWAP’s teams are providing additional supplies and training on hygiene promotion and social behavioral change as preventive measures for COVID-19 in order to prevent hospital-acquired infections. Hand washing and social distancing are becoming more routine, and long-term supplies such as hand-washing stations will serve these communities for years to come.