- •Dubbed 'Primary Health Integrated Care Project for Chronic Conditions', the project was rolled out in October 2018.
- •It aims to identify people with hypertension, diabetes, cervical and/or breast cancer in the community.
At least 2,500 residents of Busia and Trans Nzoia counties are living with both hypertension and diabetes.
The Health Ministry with the support from the World Bank has been piloting a screening and early identification project in the two counties for the four common chronic diseases.
Dubbed 'Primary Health Integrated Care Project for Chronic Conditions', the project, which was rolled out in October 2018 aims to identify people with hypertension, diabetes, cervical and/or breast cancer in the community.
This would then see them have a timely referral and management at the appropriate service level to ensure the care patients receive is of high quality.
The aim is also to ensure patients with a chronic disease are linked to a benefit package from the National Hospital Insurance Fund to protect people from the costs of these chronic diseases.
Data from the ministry released on Monday shows more than 170,000 people have been screened for hypertension, 91,000 for diabetes, 20,000 for cervical cancer and 17,000 for breast cancer.
Consequently, about 14,000 and 4,000 people have been identified to have hypertension and diabetes respectively, with the 2,500 having both conditions.
Further, 473 and 120 people have been identified with suspicious cervical and breast cancer lesions respectively and linked to appropriate care.
“The project incorporated economic evaluation and cost assessment aspects. This includes capacity building of 552 hospital board members on financial management and the need to invest in NCDs,” Health CAS Rashid Aman said.
“However, this is just but the beginning. The findings, the challenges, the best practices that will be shared here will inform future implementation strategies and how we scale up integration of NCDs into PHC to the rest of the country to ensure no one is left behind,” he added.
The project has seen 73 facilities in Busia and Trans Nzoia counties activated to offer these priority services, with close to 400 health workers, 1,130 Community Health Volunteers and 81 peer educators trained.
“We will be expecting a comprehensive road map that will guide the ministry, county governments, development partners and other stakeholders on how we will institutionalise NCD prevention, screening and care at primary health care level.”
The policy dialogue was held in Kisumu in collaboration with the ministry and World Bank and high-level national and international policy-makers to disseminate the findings of the research to a broader policy audience.
Non-Communicable Diseases are a growing public health threat in Kenya and account for 39 per cent of deaths in the country.
It is also projected they will account for half of all mortality by the year 2030.
The four targeted NCDs under this project happen to be the ones that impose the greatest health burden among the people in the country.
It is estimated that close to one in every four adults in the country lives with hypertension, 2.4 per cent live with diabetes and 3.1 per cent are pre-diabetic.
The findings are expected to inform implementation and scale up of integrated primary care approaches beyond Kenya.
-Edited by SKanyara