• Closing the gap: decentralising mental health care to primary care centres in one rural district of Rwanda

      Nyirandagijimana, B; Edwards, JK; Venables, E; Ali, E; Rusangwa, C; Mukasakindi, H; Borg, R; Fabien, M; Tharcisse, M; Nshimyiryo, A; et al. (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2017-09-21)
      Setting: Programmes that integrate mental health care into primary care settings could reduce the global burden of mental disorders by increasing treatment availability in resource-limited settings, including Rwanda. Objective: We describe patient demographics, service use and retention of patients in care at health centres (HC) participating in an innovative primary care integration programme, compared to patients using existing district hospital-based specialised out-patient care. Design: This was a retrospective cohort study using routinely collected data from six health centres and one district hospital from October 2014 to March 2015. Results: Of 709 patients, 607 were cared for at HCs; HCs accounted for 88% of the total visits for mental disorders. Patients with psychosis used HC services more frequently, while patients with affective disorders were seen more frequently at the district hospital. Of the 68% of patients who returned to care within 90 days of their first visit, 76% had a third visit within a further 90 days. There were no significant differences in follow-up rates between clinical settings. Conclusion: This study suggests that a programme of mentorship for primary care nurses can facilitate the decentralisation of out-patient mental health care from specialised district hospital mental health services to HCs in rural Rwanda.
    • Outcomes of decentralizing hypertension care from district hospitals to health centers in Rwanda, 2013-2014

      Ngoga, G; Park, PH; Borg, R; Bukhman, G; Ali, E; Munyaneza, F; Tapela, N; Rusingiza, E; Edwards, JK; Hedt-Gauthier, B (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2019-12-21)
      Setting: Three district hospitals (DHs) and seven health centers (HCs) in rural Rwanda. Objective: To describe follow-up and treatment outcomes in stage 1 and 2 hypertension patients receiving care at HCs closer to home in comparison to patients receiving care at DHs further from home. Design: A retrospective descriptive cohort study using routinely collected data involving adult patients aged ⩾18 years in care at chronic non-communicable disease clinics and receiving treatment for hypertension at DH and HC between 1 January 2013 and 30 June 2014. Results: Of 162 patients included in the analysis, 36.4% were from HCs. Patients at DHs travelled significantly further to receive care (10.4 km vs. 2.9 km for HCs, P < 0.01). Odds of being retained were significantly lower among DH patients when not adjusting for distance (OR 0.11, P = 0.01). The retention effect was consistent but no longer significant when adjusting for distance (OR 0.18, P = 0.10). For those retained, there was no significant difference in achieving blood pressure targets between the DHs and HCs. Conclusion: By removing the distance barrier, decentralizing hypertension management to HCs may improve long-term patient retention and could provide similar hypertension outcomes as DHs.