- Melinda Gates (in Black) wife of Bill Gates, with Alie (in Blue) visited SWAP Vendor in Nyalenda,Kisumu in 2006
The initial response started during the post election violence whereby SWAP was supporting internally displaced and returnees with health products, material support and counseling. The main aim was to prevent diarrhea, malaria and other infections.
The purpose of the emergency response was to provide a rapid integrated response to outbreaks to reduce morbidity and mortality, and prevent the spread of illness. The project was initiated in 2006 with funding from Global Disease Detection and the Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To implement this project, SWAP partnered with the Ministry of Health, Population Services Kenya (PSK), and the Red Cross.
Response activities have two principal components:
In addition, PSKenya prepared public service announcements in 6 local languages that can be read on the radio in outbreak affected areas.
The rapid response teams have responded to over a dozen cholera outbreaks,1 shigella outbreak, 1 typhoid outbreak, and annual flooding emergencies since September 2006.
Since 2011 we have not experienced any more cholera outbreaks in the area, but SWAP has continued to offer preventive services, by promoting the use of water treatment, ceramic filters, safe storage, hygiene promotion including hand washing.
Currently SWAP is still supporting desperate cases who are referred by our Community Health Promoters or presented by our field staff. For example material support after losses like fire, destruction, payment of hospital or funeral bills, settling fee areas for school fees for orphans or rebuilding houses of widows. Others are supported with business start up to become self reliant. Each case is presented in the staff meetings and further scrutinized by the Community Support Officer before support is given.
SWAP receives financial support from Harber Charitable Foundation to respond to the above emergencies.