As part of the ongoing mass testing, 59 samples were collected from remandees and prisoners on May 28, 2020, from the Nairobi Industrial Area Remand Prison. From the results received on May 30, 31 samples had tested positive for coronavirus after which the Nairobi County emergency response team promptly moved in and evacuated the patients to various treatment centres for case management. Various stakeholders have come into play to assist the government to prevent the entry of the Coronavirus in these closed settings. The main focus has been on the provision of sanitation and hygiene donations following a government directive barring all visitors, including family members and other stakeholders from gaining access to the prison institutions. Prior to this ban, family members used to supply to their kin in prison basic commodities such as soap, toothpaste, toiletries and other hygiene equipment to maintain their level of cleanliness.
With personal hygiene being treated as a fundamental component in the fight against Covid19, the Rotary Club of Magharibi in partnership with CFC Stanbic Bank Industrial Area Branch and Faraja Foundation donated 10 handwashing bays/stations to the Kenya Prisons Service Nairobi Regional Commander’s Office at the Nairobi Industrial Area Remand Prison on Friday 29 May 2020. Faraja Foundation, owing to its long-existing Memorandum of Understanding of 19 years with the Kenya Prisons Service and being the only stakeholder with the most projects running in the Prison Institutions, assisted the two stakeholders to gain access to the Kenya Prisons Service. The 10 handwashing bays were distributed as follows: Nairobi Industrial Area Maximum Prison received 3 tanks, Nairobi Medium Prison received 2, Nairobi West Prison received 2, Kamiti Maximum Security Prison received 2 and Kamiti Medium Prison received 1 tank.
There are 129 prison institutions in Kenya, 30 of which are for women. There are varying needs relating to hygiene necessities to help cushion those in these closed settings against the adverse effects of covid19. Partners and stakeholders are encouraged to also donate essential hygiene commodities and equipment to other marginalized prison institutions away from Nairobi Region that are in need. Of emphasis would also be the women prison institutions which not only have women in custody but also the children who accompany their mothers to prison. This would be an interesting group to focus on as we all join hands in the fight against Covid19