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Pilot project to monitor the circulation of COVID-19 in sewage water collected in the city of Nairobi

KWR joined forces with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) – Directorate of Health Services, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) to monitor the circulation of COVID-19 in sewage in the city of Nairobi.

The partners will analyse wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 and compare the sewage data with the epidemiological data on the spread of COVID-19 in Nairobi. The sewage monitoring aims to interpret the observed trends better and detect potential outbreaks in Nairobi at an early stage. The partners will develop an online platform to visualise the trend data and communicate developments of the spread of the virus to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services and other relevant Kenyan authorities.

Predictive value

The project is based on previous research by Gertjan Medema and his team. The method analyses sewage for SARS –CoV-2 RNA to monitor the virus’s prevalence in the population. This methodology has a predictive value as the virus can be detected in sewage before patients feel sick.

The project has received funds from the NL Business department of the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), KWR, NMS – Directorate of Health Services, ILRI, NCWSC, and Waternet.

Covid-19 sewage research explained in images