A narrative review of gaps in the provision of integrated care for noncommunicable diseases in India.
ABSTRACT: Background:Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) account for a higher burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and home to a higher number of premature deaths (before age 70) from NCDs. NCDs have become an integral part of the global development agenda; hence, the scope of action on NCDs extends beyond just the health-related sustainable development goal (SDG 3). However, the organization and integration of NCD-related health services have faced several gaps in the LMIC regions such as India. Although the national NCD programme of India has been in operation for a decade, challenges remain in the integration of NCD services at primary care. In this paper, we have analysed existing gaps in the organization and integration of NCD services at primary care and suggested plausible solutions that exist. Method:The identification of gaps is based out of a review of peer-reviewed articles, reports on national and global guidelines/protocols. The gaps are organized and narrated at four levels such as community, facility, health system, health policy and research, as per the WHO Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions framework (WHO ICCC). Result:The review found that challenges in the identification of eligible beneficiaries, shortage and poor capacity of frontline health workers, poor functioning of community groups and poor community knowledge on NCD risk factors were key gaps at the community level. Challenges at facility level such as poor facility infrastructure, lack of provider knowledge on standards of NCD care and below par quality of care led to poor management of NCDs. At the health system level, we found, organization of care, programme management and monitoring systems were not geared up to address NCDs. Multi-sectoral collaboration and coordination were proposed at the policy level to tackle NCDs; however, gaps remained in implementation of such policies. Limited research on the effect of health promotion, prevention and, in particular, non-medical interventions on NCDs was found as a key gap at the research level. Conclusion:This paper reinforces the need for an integrated comprehensive model of NCD care especially at primary health care level to address the growing burden of these diseases. This overarching review is quite relevant and useful in organizing NCD care in Indian and similar LMIC settings.
Project description:Background:Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of deaths globally. Currently, there are limited high-quality data on the epidemiology and usefulness of community-based screening and treatment of NCDs in low-to-middle-income countries (LMIC), like Nepal. We describe the protocol of a community-based, longitudinal epidemiological study of screening and management of NCDs in rural Nepal. Methods:We organize monthly mobile health clinics to screen NCDs among 40- to 75-year-old residents from municipal subdivision wards 3, 4, 6, and 7 of Ghorahi submetropolitan city, Dang, Nepal (approximately 406 km west of the capital, Kathmandu). We estimate a total of 7052 eligible participants. After obtaining informed consent, trained personnel will collect sociodemographic and lifestyle data, medical, medication, and family history using validated questionnaires, plus anthropometric measures and capillary glucose levels. We will screen for hypertension, diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, tobacco and alcohol use, self-reported physical activity, dietary habits, cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic lung disease, cancer, and chronic kidney disease. We will also check hemoglobin A1C, lipid panel, serum creatinine, sodium, potassium, urine dipstick, and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio in high-risk participants. We will offer lifestyle counseling, pharmacotherapy or refer to higher level care, where appropriate; routinely follow participants with NCDs for continuity of care; and follow individuals without NCDs but with elevated glucose, prehypertension or other risk factors every year, and those without risk factors every 2?years. We will monitor participants in the community to reduce attrition and to track all-cause and disease-specific mortality. Discussion:Understanding the community burden of NCDs in resource-limited setting and testing effectiveness of community-based screening and management of NCDs will provide insights to develop national policy to address NCD burden in LMIC like Nepal.
Project description:BACKGROUND:India accounts for more than two-third of mortality due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in south-east Asia. The burden is high in Karnataka, one of the largest states in southern India. There is a need for integration of disease prevention, health promotion, treatment and care within the national program at primary level. A public-private partnership initiative explored evidence gaps to inform a health system based, integrated NCD programme across care continuum with a focus on hypertension and diabetes. METHODS:The study was conducted during 2017-18 in urban parts of Mysore city, covering a population of 58,000. Mixed methods were used in the study; a population-based screening to estimate denominators for those with disease and at risk; cross-sectional surveys to understand distribution of risk factors, treatment adherence and out of pocket expenses; facility audits to assess readiness of public and private facilities; in-depth interviews and focus group discussions to understand practices, myths and perceptions in the community. Chi-square tests were used to test differences between the groups. Framework analysis approach was used for qualitative analysis. RESULTS:Twelve and 19% of the adult population had raised blood sugar and blood pressure, respectively, which increased with age, to 32 and 44% for over 50?years. 11% reported tobacco consumption; 5.5%, high alcohol consumption; 40%, inadequate physical activity and 81%, inappropriate diet consumption. These correlated strongly with elderly age and poor education. The public facilities lacked diagnostics and specialist services; care in the private sector was expensive. Qualitative data revealed fears and cultural myths that affected treatment adherence. The results informed intervention design across the NCD care continuum. CONCLUSIONS:The study provides tools and methodology to gather evidence in designing comprehensive NCD programmes in low and middle income settings. The study also provides important insights into public-private partnership driving effective NCD care at primary care level.
Project description:Background:Poverty is a major barrier to healthcare access in low-income countries. The degree of equitable access for noncommunicable disease (NCD) patients is not known in rural Haiti. Objectives:We evaluated the poverty distribution among patients receiving care in an NCD clinic in rural Haiti compared with the community and assessed associations of poverty with sex and distance from the health facility. Methods:We performed a cross-sectional study of patients with NCDs attending a public-sector health center in rural Haiti 2013-2016, and compared poverty among patients with poverty among a weighted community sample from the Haiti 2012 Demographic and Health Survey. We adapted the multidimensional poverty index: people deprived ?44% of indicators are among the poorest billion people worldwide. We assessed hardship financing: borrowing money or selling belongings to pay for healthcare. We examined the association between facility distance and poverty adjusted for age and sex using linear regression. Results:Of 379 adults, 72% were women and the mean age was 52.5 years. 17.7% had hypertension, 19.3% had diabetes, 3.1% had heart failure, and 33.8% had multiple conditions. Among patients with available data, 197/296 (66.6%) experienced hardship financing. The proportions of people who are among the poorest billion people for women and men were similar (23.3% vs. 20.3%, p > 0.05). Fewer of the clinic patients were among the poorest billion people compared with the community (22.4% vs. 63.1%, p < 0.001). Patients who were most poor were more likely to live closer to the clinic (p = 0.002). Conclusion:Among patients with NCD conditions in rural Haiti, poverty and hardship financing are highly prevalent. However, clinic patients were less poor compared with the community population. These data suggest barriers to care access particularly affect the poorest. Socioeconomic data must be collected at health facilities and during community-level surveillance studies to monitor equitable healthcare access. Highlights:Poverty and hardship financing are highly prevalent among NCD patients in rural Haiti.Patients attending clinic are less poor than expected from the community.People travelling farther to clinic are less poor.Socioeconomic data should be collected to monitor healthcare access equity.
Project description:Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are increasing in prevalence in low-income countries including Uganda. The Uganda Ministry of Health has prioritized NCD prevention, early diagnosis, and management. However, research on the capacity of public sector health facilities to address NCDs is limited.We developed a survey guided by the literature and the standards of the World Health Organization Pacakage of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions for Primary Health Care in Low-Resource Settings. We used this tool to conduct a needs assessment in 53 higher-level public sector facilities throughout Uganda, including all Regional Referral Hospitals (RRH) and a purposive sample of General Hospitals (GH) and Health Centre IVs (HCIV), to: (1) assess their capacity to detect and manage NCDs; (2) describe provider knowledge and practices regarding the management of NCDs; and (3) identify areas in need of focused improvement. We collected data on human resources, equipment, NCD screening and management, medicines, and laboratory tests. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize our findings.We identified significant resource gaps at all sampled facilities. All facilities reported deficiencies in NCD screening and management services. Less than half of all RRH and GH had an automated blood pressure machine. The only laboratory test uniformly available at all surveyed facilities was random blood glucose. Sub-specialty NCD clinics were available in some facilities with the most common type being a diabetes clinic present at eleven (85%) RRHs. These facilities offered enhanced services to patients with diabetes. Surveyed facilities had limited use of NCD patient registries and NCD management guidelines. Most facilities (46% RRH, 23% GH, 7% HCIV) did not track patients with NCDs by using registries and only 4 (31%) RRHs, 4 (15%) GHs, and 1 (7%) HCIVs had access to diabetes management guidelines.Despite inter-facility variability, none of the facilities in our study met the WHO-PEN standards for essential tools and medicines to implement effective NCD interventions. In Uganda, improvements in the allocation of human resources and essential medicines and technologies, coupled with uptake in the use of quality assurance modalities are desperately needed in order to adequately address the rapidly growing NCD burden.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of global mortality and disability with a rising burden in low- and middle-income countries. Their multifactorial aetiology, and their requirement of long-term care, implies the need for comprehensive approaches. From 2009, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in El Salvador has developed a national public health system based on comprehensive primary health care. This study aims to describe the different stakeholders' perceptions about the management of NCDs along the pathways of care in this health system. METHODS:During three fieldwork periods in 2018, three complementary qualitative data collection methods were deployed and conducted in settings with high prevalence of NCDs within El Salvador. First, illness narrative methodology was used to document the life histories of people living with a chronic disease and being treated in second and third level health facilities. Second, through social mapping, support resources that NCD patients used throughout the process of their illness within the same settings were analysed. Third, semi-structured interviews were conducted in the same locations, with both chronic patients and health personnel working at different levels of the primary health care setting. Participants were recruited through purposive and snowball sampling, and a deductive approach was implemented for coding during the analysis phase. After grouping codes into potential themes, a thematic framework was developed using a reflexive approach and following triangulation of the data. RESULTS:This innovative approach of combining three well-defined qualitative methods identified key implications for the implementation of a comprehensive approach to NCD management in resource-poor settings. The following elements are identified: 1) social risk factors and barriers to care; 2) patient pathways to NCD care; 3) available resources identified through social connections mapping; 4) trust in social connections; and 5) community health promotion and NCD prevention management. CONCLUSIONS:The Salvadoran public health system has been able to strengthen its comprehensive approach to NCDs, combining a clinical approach - including long-term follow-up - with a preventive community-based strategy. The structural collaboration between the health system and the (self-) organised community has been essential for identifying failings, discuss tensions and work out adapted solutions.
Project description:<h4>Background/objective</h4>The increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nepal underscores the importance of strengthening primary healthcare systems to deliver efficient care. In this study, we examined the barriers and facilitators to engaging community health workers (CHWs) for NCDs prevention and control in Nepal.<h4>Design</h4>We used multiple approaches including (a) review of relevant literature, (b) key personnel and stakeholders' consultation meetings and (c) qualitative data collection using semistructured interviews. A grounded theory approach was used for qualitative data collection and the data were analysed thematically.<h4>Setting</h4>Data were collected from health facilities across four districts in Nepal and two stakeholder consultative meetings were conducted at central level.<h4>Participants</h4>We conducted in-depth interviews with CHWs (Health Assistants, Auxiliary Health Workers, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) (n=5); key informant interviews with health policymakers/managers (n=3) and focus group discussions (FGDs) with CHWs (four FGDs; total n=27). Participants in two stakeholder consultative meetings included members from the government (n=8), non-government organisations (n=7), private sector (n=3) and universities (n=6).<h4>Results</h4>The CHWs were engaged in a wide range of public health programmes and they also deliver NCDs specific programmes such as common NCDs screening, provisional diagnosis, primary care, health education and counselling, basic medication and referral and so on. These NCD prevention and control services are concentrated in those districts, where the WHO, Package for prevention and control of NCDs) program is being implemented. Some challenges and barriers were identified, including inadequate NCD training, high workload, poor system-level support, inadequate remuneration, inadequate supply of logistics and drugs. The facilitating factors included government priority, formation of NCD-related policies, community support systems, social prestige and staff motivation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Engaging CHWs has been considered as key driver to delivering NCDs related services in Nepal. Effective integration of CHWs within the primary care system is essential for CHW's capacity buildings, necessary supervisory arrangements, supply of logistics and medications and setting up effective recording and reporting systems for prevention and control of NCDs in Nepal.
Project description:Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represent the largest, and fastest growing, burden of disease in India. This study aimed to quantify levels of diagnosis, treatment, and control among hypertensive and diabetic patients, and to describe demand- and supply-side barriers to hypertension and diabetes diagnosis and care in two Indian districts, Shimla and Udaipur.We conducted household and health facility surveys, as well as qualitative focus group discussions and interviews. The household survey randomly sampled individuals aged 15 and above in rural and urban areas in both districts. The survey included questions on NCD knowledge, history, and risk factors. Blood pressure, weight, height, and blood glucose measurements were obtained. The health facility survey was administered in 48 health care facilities, focusing on NCD diagnosis and treatment capacity, including staffing, equipment, and pharmaceuticals. Qualitative data was collected through semi-structured key informant interviews with health professionals and public health officials, as well as focus groups with patients and community members.Among 7181 individuals, 32% either reported a history of hypertension or were found to have a systolic blood pressure???140 mmHg and/or diastolic ?90 mmHg. Only 26% of those found to have elevated blood pressure reported a prior diagnosis, and just 42% of individuals with a prior diagnosis of hypertension were found to be normotensive. A history of diabetes or an elevated blood sugar (Random blood glucose (RBG) ?200 mg/dl or fasting blood glucose (FBG) ?126 mg/dl) was noted in 7% of the population. Among those with an elevated RBG/FBG, 59% had previously received a diagnosis of diabetes. Only 60% of diabetics on treatment were measured with a RBG <200 mg/dl. Lower-level health facilities were noted to have limited capacity to measure blood glucose as well as significant gaps in the availability of first-line pharmaceuticals for both hypertension and diabetes.We found high rates of uncontrolled diabetes and undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension. Lower level health facilities were constrained by capacity to test, monitor and treat diabetes and hypertension. Interventions aimed at improving patient outcomes will need to focus on the expanding access to quality care in order to accommodate the growing demand for NCD services.
Project description:Background:Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have hosted large refugee populations, with a high pre-conflict burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Objectives:We aimed to describe the ways in which these three host country health systems have provided NCD services to Syrian refugees over time, and to highlight the successes and challenges they encountered. Methods:We conducted a descriptive review of the academic and grey literature, published between March 2011 and March 2017, using PubMed and Google searches complemented with documents provided by relevant stakeholders. Results:Forty-one articles and reports met our search criteria. Despite the scarcity of systematic population-level data, these documents highlight the high burden of reported NCDs among Syrian refugees, especially amongst older adults. The three host countries utilized different approaches to the design, delivery and financing of NCD services for these refugees. In Jordan and Lebanon, Ministries of Health and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) coordinate a diverse group of health care providers to deliver health services to Syrian refugees at a subsidized cost. In Turkey, however, services are provided solely by the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), a Turkish governmental agency, with no cost to patients for primary or secondary care. Access to NCD services varied both within and between countries, with no data available from Turkey. The cost of NCD treatment is the primary barrier to accessing healthcare, with high out-of-pocket payments required for medications and secondary and tertiary care services, despite the availability of free or subsidized primary health services. Financial impediments led refugees to adopt coping strategies, including returning to Syria to seek treatment, with associated frequent treatment interruptions. These gaps were compounded by health system related barriers such as complex referral systems, lack of effective guidance on navigating the health system, limited health facility capacity and suboptimal NCD health education. Conclusion:As funding shortages for refugee services continue, innovative service delivery models are needed to create responsive and sustainable solutions to the NCD burden among refugees in host countries.
Project description:Introduction:Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. Progress has been slow despite the World Health Organization action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs in the region. This paper presents recommendations focused on practical strategies for optimizing NCD management in the ASEAN region. Methods:A multidisciplinary group of experts from six ASEAN member states convened for two face-to-face meetings to discuss barriers and possible recommendations for optimizing NCD management, focused on cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders, in the region. Multiple approaches, ie, analysis of insights from the meetings and a review of existing literature on NCD programs in the ASEAN region were followed. The proposed recommendations were also based on selected successful interventions in ASEAN member states, thus providing actionable strategies. Results:The gaps identified in NCD management for cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders in the ASEAN region were classified into gaps relating to policies and to clinical and public health practice. The proposed solutions addressing policy gaps include fostering multisectoral public-private partnerships, employing "whole-of-government" and "whole-of-society" approaches and promoting "health-in-all policies approach" to manage issues with financing, accessibility, efficiency and quality of health services. Whereas proposed solutions to bridge clinical and public health practice gaps entail strengthening primary care services, building the capacity of trained healthcare workers and employing collaborative care for holistic management of patients. Conclusion:The scale of premature and preventable deaths from NCDs in the ASEAN region remains a serious public health concern and requires a "whole-of-system approach". The interventions proposed in this paper build on regional collaborations and knowledge sharing to help develop a concerted and targeted response to NCDs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Republic of Moldova is faced with a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) related to lifestyle and health behavioural factors. Within the frame of the decentralisation reform, the primary health care system has been tasked to play an important role in the provision of preventative and curative NCD health services. There is however limited evidence available on the actual coverage and quality of care provided. Our paper aims to provide an updated overview of the coverage and quality of service provision in rural and urban regions of Moldova. METHODS:We designed a facility-based survey to measure aspects of coverage and quality of care of NCD services across 20 districts of the Republic of Moldova. This study presents descriptive data on the structural, procedural and clinical aspects of primary healthcare delivery at health centre and family doctor office level. Adjacent private pharmacies were also assessed for the availability of essential NCD medicine. RESULTS:Organised under the WHO Health Systems Framework, our findings highlight that service provision and information were generally the strongest among the six health systems building blocks, with more weaknesses found in the area of the health workforce, medical products, financing, and leadership/governance. Urban facilities generally fared better across all indicators. CONCLUSIONS:The gaps in service provision identified by this study require broad health system improvements to ensure NCD related policies and strategies are embedded in primary health care service provision. This likely calls for stronger coordination and collaboration between the public and private sectors and the different levels of government working towards ensuring universal health coverage in Moldova.