Map of KenyaFollowing the disease outbreak in 2019, laboratory testing was used to detect new cases of COVID-19 in Kenya. This was largely achieved through testing of symptomatic cases seeking treatment. Testing was also a pre-requisite to obtaining travel clearance that saw international travelers out of the country, incoming passengers at points of entry, and truck drivers being tested. Some counties undertook mass testing amidst a shortage of testing kits, and the number of persons presenting themselves for this voluntary testing remained a challenge. Later in the pandemic, with the advent of rapid testing for COVID-19, this led to increased access and addressed the challenge to the turnaround time in obtaining results. This increase in the use of rapid testing saw an increase in asymptomatic cases being detected. Contact tracing provided an opportunity for identification of new cases.

[SOURCE: Kenya’s Experience: Factors Enabling and Impeding the COVID-19 Response. Mwakisha et al., Health Promotion Practice, 2023, ]

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