• Report of the WHO independent high-level commission on NCDs: where is the focus on addressing inequalities?

      Perone, SA; Bausch, FJ; Boulle, P; Chappuis, F; Miranda, JJ; Beran, D (BMJ, 2020-06-01)
    • Setting up a nurse-led model of care for management of hypertension and diabetes mellitus in a high HIV prevalence context in rural Zimbabwe: a descriptive study

      Frieden, M; Zamba, B; Mukumbi, N; Mafaune, PT; Makumbe, B; Irungu, E; Moneti, V; Isaakidis, P; Garone, D; Prasai, M (BMC, 2020-06-01)
      Background In the light of the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on health systems in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, context-adapted, cost-effective service delivery models are now required as a matter of urgency. We describe the experience of setting up and organising a nurse-led Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Hypertension (HTN) model of care in rural Zimbabwe, a low-income country with unique socio-economic challenges and a dual disease burden of HIV and NCDs. Methods Mirroring the HIV experience, we designed a conceptual framework with 9 key enablers: decentralization of services, integration of care, simplification of management guidelines, mentoring and task-sharing, provision of affordable medicines, quality assured laboratory support, patient empowerment, a dedicated monitoring and evaluation system, and a robust referral system. We selected 9 primary health care clinics (PHC) and two hospitals in Chipinge district and integrated DM and HTN either into the general out-patient department, pre-existing HIV clinics, or an integrated chronic care clinic (ICCC). We provided structured intensive mentoring for staff, using simplified protocols, and disease-specific education for patients. Free medication with differentiated periodic refills and regular monitoring with point of care (POC) glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were provided. Results Nurses in 7 PHC facilities and one hospital developed sufficient knowledge and skills to diagnose, initiate treatment and monitor DM and HTN patients, and 3094 patients were registered in the programme (188 with DM only, 2473 with HTN only, 433 with both DM and HTN). Major lessons learned from our experience include: the value of POC devices in the management of diabetes; the pressure on services of the added caseload, exacerbated by the availability of free medications in supported health facilities; and the importance of leadership in the successful implementation of care in health facilities. Conclusion Our experience demonstrates a model for nurse-led decentralized integrated DM and HTN care in a high HIV prevalence rural, low-income context. Developing a context-adapted efficient model of care is a dynamic process. We present our lessons learned with the intention of sharing experience which may be of value to other public health programme managers.
    • Sickle cell disease in anaemic children in a Sierra Leonean district hospital: a case series.

      Italia, MB; Kirolos, S (Oxford University Press, 2019-07-12)
      Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited haemoglobinopathy wordwide, with the highest prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa. Due to the lack of national strategies and scarcity of diagnostic tools in resource-limited settings, the disease may be significantly underdiagnosed. We carried out a 6-month retrospective review of paediatric admissions in a district hospital in northern Sierra Leone. Our aim was to identify patients with severe anaemia, defined as Hb < 7 g/dl, and further analyse the records of those tested for SCD. Of the 273 patients identified, only 24.5% had had an Emmel test, among which 34.3% were positive. Furthermore, only 17% of patients with a positive Emmel test were discharged on prophylactic antibiotics. Our study shows that increased awareness of SCD symptoms is required in high-burden areas without established screening programmes. In addition, the creation or strengthening of follow-up programmes for SCD patients is essential for disease control.
    • Task Shifting the Management of Non-Communicable Diseases to Nurses in Kibera, Kenya: Does It Work?

      Some, D; Edwards, J K; Reid, T; Van den Bergh, R; Kosgei, R J; Wilkinson, E; Baruani, B; Kizito, W; Khabala, K; Shah, S; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2016-01-26)
      In sub-Saharan Africa there is an increasing need to leverage available health care workers to provide care for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This study was conducted to evaluate adherence to Médecins Sans Frontières clinical protocols when the care of five stable NCDs (hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, epilepsy, asthma, and sickle cell) was shifted from clinical officers to nurses.
    • Three Steps to Improve Management of Noncommunicable Diseases in Humanitarian Crises

      Jobanputra, K; Boulle, P; Roberts, B; Perel, P (Public Library of Science, 2016-11-08)
      Kiran Jobanputra and colleagues argue that better evidence, guidance, and tools are needed to improve the effectiveness and feasibility of noncommunicable disease care in humanitarian settings.