Kenya: Our work during COVID-19

Kenya COVID-19
Written by Ashley Anderson, published on April 16, 2020 Sign up for eNews

Updates from our country manager, Alice Mwangi

As part of our emergency response in Kenya:

  • 880 community health workers were trained
  • 700 hygiene kits were distributed
  • 602,366 individuals received health education
  • 57,000 health education materials were distributed
  • 1,141 hand washing vessels were distributed

May 25, 2020

Our total impact to date as of May 25th, 2020

  • 700 hygiene kits have been distributed to vulnerable and marginalized families.
  • 1 141 hand washing vessels have been distributed to strategic locations.
  • 602,366 individuals have been reached through health education.
  • 880 community health workers have been trained on COVID-19 detection and prevention measures.
A blind man recieves an Operation Eyesight hand washing vessel

May 15, 2020

Updates from the week ending May 15th, 2020 

  • 77,366 people received health education on COVID-19. This brings the total up to 60,2336 individuals.
  • 735 hygiene kits have been distributed to vulnerable and marginalized families.
A woman from Narok County uses her new hand washing station

May 8, 2020

Updates from the week ending May 8th, 2020 

  • To date we have reached 525,000 people through health education and awareness activities.

“We are not certain how long the pandemic will last and therefore, we cannot sit back and wait for the worst to happen. We are doing all we can to empower our communities in Kenya  stay safe through health education. We must make them understand that the family must function as a single unit because if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in that unit is at risk.”

-Alice Mwangi, Kenya Country Manager

May 1, 2020

Updates from the week ending May 1st, 2020 

  • Over 412,000 people have been reached through health education and awareness activities.
  • We have distributed over 79,000 information and education brochures about COVID-19 across six counties.
  • A total of 880 community health workers have been trained. This is 180 more than originally planned.
A community health worker conducts a COVID-19 awareness session

April 24, 2020

Updates from the week ending April 24th, 2020 

  • To date, 350 community health volunteers have been trained on prevention and control measures for COVID-19. Safety materials were provided during the training.
  • We have delivered materials for hand washing stations and soap to partners in Usain Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, Kapenguria and Nandi counties.
  • Information, education and communication materials, including posters and brochures, have been developed and delivered to partner health facilities in all counties. These will then be given to community health volunteers to distribute to communities.
Handwashing stations are delivered outside the Kitale Eye Unit for distribution to communities.

April 17, 2020

Updates from the week ending April 17th, 2020 

  • Online training sessions were conducted with all of the implementation partners for our COVID-19 response projects. 
  • Representatives have been identified to lead the implementation.
  • Project leads have started to identify community health workers to be trained.
  • Information, education and communication materials have been printed for distribution.
  • We have started to procure materials for hand washing units and safety materials for our community health workers and project team members.
Operation Eyesight water jugs ready to be distributed

April 10, 2020

From March 27 onwards, a daily curfew has been imposed from 7p.m. to 5a.m. All movement by those who are not medical professionals, health workers, or essential service providers is prohibited between these hours. Movement in and out of the major cities of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale is restricted.

Currently, our focus in Kenya is to provide training for community health volunteers to educate them about COVID-19. This training will cover topics such as the detection of symptoms, the importance and proper techniques for hand washing, and what to do if you or a family member starts displaying signs of COVID-19. By mid-May, we hope to have 700 community health volunteers trained to address COVID-19.

The government of Kenya has produced information, education and communication materials related to COVID-19, but not all of these are accessible. Our team is working on taking government-produced materials and translating them into local languages to be distributed by our community health volunteers at the community level.

In addition to these materials, we will be delivering hand washing kits to female-headed households and people living with disabilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. By giving these kits directly to women, we are empowering them to take leadership over their health and the well-being of their families and broader community. Empowering women is crucial in building our economies, reducing poverty and attaining peace. By mid-May, we hope to have 1 000 of these kits distributed. We will also be installing hand washing stations at boreholes and near schools to promote proper hygiene practices.

To ensure the safety of our project team and community health volunteers, we are will be equipping them with personal safety materials such as disposable masks, gloves and hand sanitizers. We will ensure they are properly trained to follow physical distancing guidelines as mandated by the government.

Activities related to avoidable blindness:

Eye care services are still available in all partner hospitals, but there has been a significant reduction of the number of patients visiting the eye units. The eye units are providing emergency surgeries only, and community health workers are currently not conducting door-to-door eye screenings.

Learn more about our response to COVID-19 and how you can help here.