SWAP operates in Western Kenya, an area with high poverty levels and high burden of disease. The area has one of the highest infant and child mortality rates and the highest HIV rates in the country, more than double the national rates. Micro-entrepreneurship in remote areas of Western Kenya shows great promise to create positive economic, social and health outcomes. Further, there is a strong body of evidence that carefully selected public health products, if adopted on a wide enough scale and used properly – are cost-effective and can improve the overall health and productivity of communities. Awareness, demand, supply, and use of these technologies, however, are typically low. This is especially evident among low-income, rural communities, where market penetration for many of these products has been slow or non-existent.
The adoption of positive health practices and health products will prevent some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, specifically in the most vulnerable communities such as children under five, pregnant mothers and people living with HIV. SWAP’s adoption and use of products prevent diarrheal illness, respiratory tract infections, HIV and STI infections, malaria and malnutrition. Further, it provides an opportunity to generate income while improving health.