Research department

SWAP’s Research Department

Since March 2007, SWAP’s research department has been engaged in various research studies on public health in collaboration with local and international research partners. The research has been conducted in different 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 public 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 50 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 County Department of Health and Education, 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. The water lab has become an essential asset to provide evidence when testing water, products and technologies. SWAP has diversified its research with studies on WASH and Waste Management, Early Childhood Development, Clean Cook Stoves, Maternal and Child Health, Menstrual Hygiene Management, Neglected tropical diseases Cholera, COVID-19 among others.


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.

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.

Point of Care Circulating Cathodic Antigen Study (POC-CCA)

SWAP completed the 5 year CDC funded evaluation of point of care circulating antigen assay for mapping and monitoring mass drug administration for Schistosoma Mansoni Control Program in Western Kenya. Children between 9 and 12 years were targeted in 30 primary schools in Siaya County. Urine and stool samples were collected and tested and mass drug administration was done in collaboration with the National deworming program.

Morbidity Operational Research for Bilharzia Implementation Decision (MORBID) study

A one year USAID funded study through the Task Force for global health was completed to define what constitutes control of Bilharzia related morbidity for Schistosoma Mansoni in Siaya and Vihiga Counties. The study aimed to guide implementation decisions for country programs on neglected tropical diseases. samples were collected in 45 villages and ultra sound data collected and analyzed.

Markers  for Monitoring and Evaluation  of Schistosomiasis Control Program

This research is an interim one year study in preparation of another 5 year CDC funded corporative agreement. The study will take place in Homabay and Siaya counties. So far community entry has been done and the study protocol submitted for review.

Production, Distribution and Monitoring of Alcohol Based Hand Rub

SWAP  received funding and support from CDC for the production of Alcohol Based Hand Rub using the WHO formulae. Production is done at the water lab. SWAP received approval from Kenya Bureau of standards in November 2020 and started the monthly distribution in January 2021 to 47 health care facilities in Nyando and Nyakach Sub-Counties.

Enhanced Preparedness and Response to communicable diseases in Kenya

SWAP entered into a sub-award agreement with Washington State University (WSU) for a public health and sanitation project to continue scale up production/distribution of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) and installation of handwashing stations in Nyando and Nyakach public health facilities and hot spot areas in the region with an aim to assess and evaluate the impact  and efficacy of the intervention in the mentioned COVID – 19 outbreak areas. The intervention rides on the mother CDC-SWAP program on alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) production and distribution in 47 public health facilities in two sub-counties. SWAP received in December 2021 additional fund to start the production of liquid soap as well for use with the handwashing stations at the hot spot areas.

Building Blocks for Positive Community Health

SWAP signed an agreement with STEMA, a UK based research group. The purpose of this grant is to engage SWAP as an implementing partner to help develop a set of practical tools that enable agentic approaches to positive community health driven local agendas, amidst multifaceted challenges. The procedures will be observational and participatory research, using both qualitative and quantitative  data, working with local community  members, decision makers and health care providers. Activities started in December 2021.

Chlorine Generation at Healthcare Facilities

SWAP received additional funding from VOx Impuls in the Netherlands for the procurement, training and installation of another 6 stream disinfectant generators at health facilities. Earlier two were installed and operational. The stream generates 0.5% sodium hypochlorite which is used for infection prevention and control. It is an essential commodity during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the production it only uses water and common salt. All sub counties in Kisumu selected larger hospitals for the installation and are now no longer depending on mostly interrupted supply. Those who received have started supplying the neighboring facilities as well.

Water, Sanitation, Hyiene and Waste Management in Healthcare facilities in Rarieda

VOx Impuls also supported in 2021 a follow up evaluation  of an earlie intervention of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Waste Management in 27 public healthcare facilities. This included a baseline survey, training of health workers, supply of WASH commodities and joint monitoring. We evaluated 1 year post intervention the impact and shared results with Siaya County and Rarieda Sub-County Health Management Team

Evaluation of Purosan ORS+ among children under five with diarrheal illness in Rural Western Kenya.

SWAP signed an agreement in December 2021 with Elascon GmBH a german private company. Since 2018 Elascon GmBH is working on the combination of solid chlorine dioxide and Oral Rehydration Salts within a multi chamber bag and they are parent holder. The aim of the field evaluation is a proof of concept in rural settings in Western Kenya with 50 study participants who are children under five years. The expected outcome is a reduction in the number of hospitalization of children under 5 years of age. The study will start in January 2022 in Nyakach Sub County.

Chronic Kidney Disease Study

SWAP completed this study which was funded by University of Illinois at Chicago and with technical support from KEMRI and Muhoroni County Hospital Laboratory. The research was evaluating the presence of chronic kidney diseases among sugar cane cutters. 788 cane cutters participated in this study. in 2021 qualitative research was done as follow up of the main study.

Some of SWAP Research Staffs