By Ann Nyambura, published on 08 Mar 2021
This morning I woke up to a very interesting trend on twitter.
Kenyans are protesting the anal swab for COVID-19 testing. Would you take an anal swab test for COVID-19?
Hold on… don’t be too quick to answer that. Let’s find out what this procedure is all about after all.
The anal test is done through the insertion of a cotton swab at least 2 inches long, into the anus and gently rotating it. But what is the logic behind it? I mean, does it have any advantages over the mouth and nose swabs that we are already used to?
Well, for the first time, researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have found out that people with COVID-19 have active and prolonged gut viral infection. Their findings indicate that the infections occur even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms and after the respiratory infection has cleared.
In a nutshell, the anal swab is more reliable as compared to the mouth and nose swab. The Chinese government has already rolled out the anal swab for COVID-19 testing.
The test has aroused controversy and debate with some dubbing it insensitive, uncomfortable and degrading.
As I write this the #keAgainstAnalTest hashtag is already trending with over 3,000 tweets. Here are just some of them.
Have mercy on our butt's, some of us are vagins and we don't want to lose it in a shameful and disgusting manner!!
I can’t even picture myself taking such a test #KeAgainstAnalTest
This is not welcomed here in Kenya because it erodes our dignity and privacy.
So, would you risk not getting the test in the name of preserving your “dignity”?