‘Safe Hands Kenya’ is the nationwide public health awareness campaign backed by renowned Kenyan tech firms including Twiga, Jumia, KOKO Networks, Ushahidi, Copia, Lynk and M-KOPA. They join a broad alliance of community organisations providing rapid mass sanitation with free-hand sanitizer, soap, surface disinfectants and masks for all Kenyans in the fight against COVID-19.
This initiative is a homegrown blueprint for the particular challenges presented by COVID-19 in Kenya and other developing countries. Extreme social distancing measures being implemented around the globe are very difficult to implement within the African context, where many families live in close proximity and need to leave their homes to work in order to meet the basic needs of their families. The impact of COVID-19 could, therefore, be devastating.
The immediate provision of the tools for rapid mass sanitation (soap, hand sanitizer, surface disinfectant and face masks), along with the motivation and behaviour change education to adopt and use them regularly, is the most effective way to keep people safe and society functioning.
All members of the alliance have pledged to uphold three key principles: 1) zero margin: this is for impact, not profit; 2) speed is critical: every day counts; and 3) last-mile saturation: we leave no-one behind.
“Rapid mass sanitation of hands and surfaces combined with adoption of masks is a pragmatic and scalable strategy in the Kenyan context. Whilst our initial focus is on Kenya, we are developing an actionable blueprint for other countries facing similar challenges so they can adapt our learnings to their context and accelerate speed to market,” says Andrew Waititu, CEO of Safe Hands Kenya.
“Our intent is to scale and sustain Safe Hands Kenya’s operations for as long as they are needed, and we welcome additional funding and capability partners who can accelerate the impact of our approach.”
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