Research department

SWAP Research Department

Since March 2007, SWAP’s research department has been engaged in various research studies on public health in collaboration with CDC- Atlanta amongst other research partners. The research has been conducted in various counties of Western Kenya where there is high burden of disease. The main aim of the research department is to evaluate the health and economic impact of health interventions, technologies and products. The department has an efficient pool of researchers that have technical expertise and experience in conducting baselines, surveillance, evaluations and feasibility studies. Through partnership and collaboration with various organizations, SWAP has published over 30 studies in peer reviewed international journals. These research findings have been instrumental in informing policies and implementation models worldwide. Internally, the research department has been helpful in modeling of implementation and evaluation of intervention impact. Research findings have been disseminated to the SWAP staff and the beneficiary communities through a community feedback mechanism. SWAP projects and interventions have been continuously adjusted to keep up with the changing trends and community needs. SWAP now outsources its research activities to various research partners.


SWAP has a water lab undertaking bacteriological and full chemical water test at a cost with the aim to become sustainable. Bacteriological analysis costs KES 3,000 and full chemical analysis is KES 7,000. The lab is mostly utilized for research testing products and technologies, but also for surveillance monitoring water quality and identifying sources of contamination.

Lab technician counting water samples

SWAP has a Parasitology lab  which is mostly used for testing for parasites such as Schistosoma’s and other soil transmitted helminths for research.  The lab works in collaboration with KEMRI and the Division of Vector Borne Diseases Lab.

SWAP received KEBS approval to start the production of alcohol based hand rub which will support the COVID-19 response and will be sold to partners and individuals


Testing Means to Scale Early Childhood Development Study (ECD)

Funding from NIH with RAND Corporation as Prime recipient. The study tests different potentially cost-effective delivery models for an ECD intervention with a curriculum that integrates child psychosocial stimulation and nutrition education. Research started with a baseline survey. SWAP is implementing this study in Homabay County (South and East Rachuonyo Sub Counties) and Vihiga County (Sabatia Sub County). Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) have completed training of 16 sessions of the international ECD Curriculum.CHVs are doing parent sessions and visiting households. Follow up survey was completed in November 2019. Booster sessions are currently ongoing.

Schistosomiasis Study

A 5 years collaborative initiative with KEMRI, CDC, MOH and MOE. The study is evaluating the Point-of-Care Circulating Cathodic Antigen (POC-CCA) assay for mapping and monitoring mass drug administration (MDA) for Schistosoma mansoni control program in western Kenya. It targets children between 9 and 12 years old in 30 primary schools in Siaya County. Completed Urine and stool sample collection in 30 primary schools in May and June 2019. Treatment of positive cases is done in collaboration with MOH.

Morbidity Operational Research for Bilharzia Implementation Decision (MORBID) study

  A collaborative initiative with CDC, SWAPand TFGH– NTD Support Centre and funded by USAID.The overall project aims to identify infection levels of S. mansoni and S. haematobium below which there is little, or no, detectable schistosomiasis-associated morbidity in 45 villages in Siaya (29) and Vihiga(16) Counties.The overall number of participants enrolled since inception is 6,610 (Pre School Age Children=1,358; School Age Children=2,017, Teens =1,322, and Adults =1,913).

Routinely sample collection is urine and stool, but for a selected cohortvenous blood is collected. Samples are processed and microscopy done at the DVBD (MOH) and SWAP Parasitological laboratories.

Sanitary Platform in Health Care Facilities (HCF)

  This study is evaluating the Feasibility and Acceptability                                                 
of Novel Covered Sanitary Platforms in Healthcare Facilities in collaboration with CDC in Kisumu County (18 HCFs in Nyando Sub County and 19 HCFs in Nyakach Sub County). Baseline survey completed and disseminated at County and Sub County HMTs. Installation of SATO completed in 18 intervention clinics in Nyando and Nyakach Sub Counties. Follow up survey completed in November 2019. In 2020, installation in the other 50% at 19 health facilities in Nyando and Nyakach and ongoing monitoring. Project will end in September 2020.

Community Scale Solar Powered Water Treatment

A partnership between University of Illinoisat Chicago and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Scaling the solar power water treatment using ozonation in two urban settlements, in Kisumu County. Two sites have been established in the Ahero SWAP model village and at Mugruk along river Kisian. Community Based organizations are trained to take over the management with mentorship and quality control from SWAP.

WASH and Waste Management in Health Care Facilities – Rarieda Sub County

A partnership between Vox Impuls and CDC. A baseline assessment was done of WASH and waste management in 27 health facilities in Rarieda Sub County.  Short term interventions started by putting desired WASH commodities in place and training of health care workers and community health volunteers on JMP WASH standards, hygien e promotion and social behavioral change communication. SWAP did extensive dissemination of findings and a refresher training supporting CHA’s to do the monthly monitoring. A final evaluation will take place in July 2021.

WASH and Waste Management in Health Care Facilities – Nyando and Nyakach  Sub Counties

Following major improvements in Rarieda Sub County during our interventions, Vox Impuls supported SWAP to scale the above activities to Nyando and Nyakach sub county. Following introduction to the County and Sub County Health management team a baseline assessment was completed and findings disseminated. Training of health workers completed and all 42 health facilities were visited with alcohol based hand rub produced by SWAP following KEBS approval. In 2021 SWAP will train the CHA’s on monitoring while there will be joint monitoring and ongoing mentorship. SWAP received two STREAM devices which can generate sodium hypochlorite. This will be installed in Ahero County and Katito Sub County Hospital.

Production of alcohol based hand rub (ABHR)

This 7 months study is supported by CDC Kenya and US following successful production and distribution in Uganda. SWAP went through the approval process and received KEBS approval for two years.  SWAP used the baseline survey at Nyando and Nyakach 42 health facilities to determine the use of ABHR and practices in hand hygiene in patient care areas. ABHR is distributed to the public health facilities in Nyando and Nyakach Sub Counties. SWAP uses the WHO formulation of Ethanol 96%, Hydrogen Peroxide 3%, Glycerol 98%, Sterile distilled water. Free distribution in Nyando and Nyakach42 health care facilities started. ABHR will be made commercially available in 2021 to support the COVID-19 response.

Some of SWAP Research Staffs