Surveillance and Epidemiologic Evaluation of COVID-19 in Kenya (SEECK)

Project Period

July 2020 - March 2021

Project Partners

  • Wellcome Trust Kilifi (Partner)

The burden of COVID-19 at population level is not known and prevention interventions are not fully supported by evidence. This project seeks to answer the question of: what proportion of the general population has been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before? The study is being conducted in the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS) area (Korogocho and Viwandani informal settlements) on the outskirts of Nairobi City. Similar studies are being implemented in Kisumu and Kilifi by other research teams within the wider consortium.

Who are we studying?

The study involves participants of all age groups who are usual residents of the two informal settlements as registered in the NUHDSS database. For this reason, recent in-migrants who have not been registered by the surveillance system are not included and those who moved out of the area are not followed.

How do we select participants?

We use NUHDSS population register as the sampling frame to select a random sample of residents across all age groups while ensuring equal representation across the board. We aim to reach a minimum total of 850 adults and children in the two communities (shared out equitably). The study population is broken down as follows: 50 participants in each 5-year age band between 15-64 years and above and 100 in 5-year band from 0-14 years. This will yield a total of 350 participants aged less than 15 years- which will be enough to estimate 1% seroprevalence with a 2% margin of error. It will also give 500 participants in the 15-64-year-age group which will be enough to estimate a seroprevalence of 3-5% with <5% error margin.

What procedures are being undertaken?

After positively identifying selected participants, informed consent is sought from all adults as well as assent from minors.  For participants aged 5 years and above, we collect 5mls of blood and for children below 5 years we collect 2ml, alongside clinical and demographic data. The sample collection is done from a central place on appointment while observing strict social distancing as well as infection prevention measures.  The blood samples are prepared at the field lab and the serum is batched and stored for later onward transfer to the Kilifi labs for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing.

Project Funder

  • DFID

Project Team

  • Abdhalah K. Ziraba
  • Maurine Ng’oda
  • Salma Musa
  • Boniface Butichi
  • Nicholas K. Mutai