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Nurses Helping Vulnerable Communities Fight Against COVID-19

The Kenya Student and Novice Nurses (KESNNUR) sensitizes and educates people on the epidemiological aspect of COVID-19 to help curb its spread.

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The Kenya Student and Novice Nurses (KESNNUR) sensitizes and educates people on the epidemiological aspect of COVID-19 to help curb its spread.

Kenya Student and Novice Nurses distributing handwashing soap.

As we are quarantining and self-isolating based on the recommendations given by the government through the Ministry of Health, there are Kenyans who don’t have the privilege of accessing vital information and supplies easily, therefore, leaving them exposed.

For this reason, the Kenya Student and Novice Nurses (KESNNUR) has taken the initiative to reach these vulnerable groups to provide them with necessary supplies and educate them on how to take precautionary measures against Coronavirus. We had a chat with Rashid Salim the Chairperson, Kenya Student and Novice Nurses, who shared with us more about their initiative. Here is the story:


The Kenya Student and Novice Nurses (KESNNUR) is a chapter under the National Nurses Association of Kenya. It is a platform that brings together all college and university nursing students as well as newly qualified nurses up to 5 years post-qualification in Kenya. The chapter aims at harnessing professional unity within the nursing sector. The main focus of the chapter is professional mentorship and facilitation of a smooth transition from student to professional life.

Through our Covid-19 support program, we have managed to reach out to two institutions so far; New Vision Rescue Center Orphans Home and Kamwangi Tea Buying Centers in Gatundu North Sub-county, Kiambu County. Marginalized groups may not have access to social media and other forms of media communication. We believe they should not be neglected. We have made it our mission to reach them through physical visits as well as give them free print media since they are at an equal if a not higher risk of getting infected with Coronavirus. Such initiatives give them hope during these difficult times and a sense of belonging.

Hand hygiene is key in slowing down the spread of Coronavirus and has been highly recommended by World Health Organization. The chapter visits children's homes and other vulnerable groups and teaches them the necessary hand hygiene skills as well as other measures in the prevention of Coronavirus including social distancing. The chapter also donates hand washing liquid, sanitisers, serviette tissues and soap dispensing bottles. We shall try to ensure continuity in the supply of the same.


Teaching kids handwashing techniques at New Vision Rescue Center Orphans Home.

In our outreaches, we always do a pre-evaluation to understand the dynamics of our audience before embarking on training and donations. It is interesting to learn that most of these groups believe Coronavirus is a disease for the affluent. Some believe you must have used a plane for you to get infected with COVID-19. Still, it is the belief of many that the only solution to ending COVID-19 is the use of Hand sanitisers. The team sensitizes and educates the audience on the epidemiological aspect of the disease including current statistics from the Ministry of Health with the hope that this relatable information can help change their mindset. In all this, we use a participatory approach as opposed to the lecture mode of information delivery.

However, there are quite a few challenges this being a face-to-face implementation project. It is a big challenge to get approvals from the relevant authorities. Resources are also scarce; bearing in mind the travel regulations, we are forced to hire cabs that are quite costly and sometimes exceed our estimated budget. The donations are not enough compared to the high demand from the groups.

We do take all precautionary measures so that we don’t end up putting the lives of those we visit at a higher risk. We restrict ourselves to using cabs during visits as opposed to matatus to limit interaction with the public as much as we can. On arrival we wash hands or sanitize and keep a distance of at least two meters from our audience. We also try to stay at the periphery and closer to the point of entry for ease of exit and to avoid interactions with our audience. To keep the number as minimum as we can, we only work with representatives not exceeding 10 persons in each session. These representatives are the trainers of trainees and champions in the fight against COVID-19.

A lot still needs to be done and we can only win the fight against Coronavirus if we come together as a society. If you’d like to join our cause and support vulnerable communities through donations e.g. liquid soap, water dispensing tanks, serviette tissues, food stuff or monetary support you are welcome. Reach out to the Kenya Student Novice Nurses or the National Nurses Association of Kenya.

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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