Over 500 nurses in Kwale County are taking part in preventive health awareness activities targeting local communities as part of the 2021 International Nurses Week.

The campaign is supported by a partnership by Pwani Oil, Kenya Professional Nurses Association (KPNA) and Naivas Supermarkets. It seeks to sensitize the rural communities in the county on disease prevention while supporting ongoing efforts to tame the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pwani Oil Commercial Director Rajul Malde said the company has stepped up preventive health awareness support as a way of building healthier communities that are safe from disease. He added that they would focus on poor rural areas where access to health services remains a challenge.

“The initiative we are supporting in Kwale County is part of ongoing efforts by Pwani to support communities in addressing social and health threats while also recognizing the valuable role of frontline health workers like nurses,” said Mr. Malde.

Some 530 nurses will be involved in the initiative across the 4 sub-counties of Matuga, Msambweni, Kinango and Lunga Lunga. Those who have excelled in their work serving the local communities will also be recognized and rewarded.

Besides offering logistical support, Pwani Oil is also donating Detrex Citronella soap. This will help fight infections and has mosquito repelling ingredients to keep malaria at bay. Nurses will also be given Detrex Hand sanitizers.

KPNA National Secretary Triza Ireri thanked Pwani Oil and Naivas for the support, adding it will go a long way in helping address many of the health challenges facing especially poor rural communities in the coastal region.

The World Health Organization advocates for community-based health interventions with disease prevention as a key aspect, saying such measures could save up to 60 million lives and increase life expectancy by 3.7 years in low and middle income countries.

Pwani Oil has been working closely with KPNA in promoting public awareness of disease prevention and enhancing quality of health services, most notably in response to COVID-19. Last year, the manufacturer through KPNA provided 122 handwashing kits and 70 cartons of soap for distribution to medical personnel in eleven counties to combat the disease.