Majority of Kenyans (87.8 per cent) have never done a blood sugar test in their lifetime. Yet nearly two per cent of Kenyans (nearly one million people) have raised blood sugar levels according to the Kenya STEPwise Survey for NCDs Risk Factors 2015 Report.
CHAK is implementing three projects addressing the burden of diabetes in Kenya.
All the three diabetes projects are complementary to each other and enable CHAK to achieve more coverage, community awareness for early diagnosis, improve care and treatment, data collection and reporting and supervision.
The CHAK programme works with the private sector to improve laboratory diagnostics and follow monitoring of blood sugar control. In this regard, Meditec Systems has placed HbA1c machines in CHAK MHUs. The overall objective of the CHAK diabetes projects is to contribute to the World Health Organization target of halting the rise of diabetes and obesity by 2025.
Awareness and education
In 2017, a total of 86,251 persons were reached with messages on diabetes and the associated risk factors.
These messages were passed through distributing IEC materials to communities, at health facilities and through mass media.
Screening for diabetes is done through outreaches and at health facilities. In 2017, the CHAK diabetes programme conducted a total of 110 community outreaches where 10,474 persons were screened for diabetes. Those found with abnormal sugar levels were referred to health facilities for further evaluation and treatment.
To facilitate screening for diabetes, CHAK distributed 401 glucometers and 12, 950 glucose test strips to MHUs. Further, a total of 118 community health volunteers (CHVs) were equipped with glucometers.
Risk factor evaluation for clients attending outreaches, targeting BMI, smoking, obesity, level of physical activity and alcohol abuse was also undertaken and the clients advised on strategies to minimize the risk factors.
To improve the capacity of MHUs offering comprehensive diabetes care, the CHAK diabetes programme supports continuous mentorship to health care workers. In 2017, a total of 337 health care workers were trained using the strategy.
Treatment and care
In 2017, a total of 8,915 patients were offered diabetes treatment in CHAK MHUs. More than 90 per cent of the MHUs accessed and dispensed supplies under the BoP access price of Ksh500 as compared to Ksh1,500 in the private for profit health sector.
CHAK has facilitated establishment of 54 diabetes psycho social support groups to promote self-management of diabetes and improve adherence and control.
HbA1c screen, an important blood sugar control monitoring indicator is available in four CHAK MHUs, namely, AIC Litein, AIC Kapsowar and Nyanchwa Adventist hospitals as well as Baraka Health Centre in Nairobi through a placement arrangement with Meditec Systems. Meditec has supplied Siemens Vantage DCA HbA1c machine in the facilities.
The National Diabetes Control Programme, Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, (MOH) in partnership with CHAK conducts support supervision to assess the implementation of diabetes services.
In 2017, the team visited IcFEM Dreamland Hospital, Friends Lugulu Mission Hospital and Mission of Mercy Medical Clinic in Bungoma, ACK Namasoli Health Centre, Ingotse Health Centre and Chebwai SDA Dispensary in Kakamega and COG Kima Mission Hospital in Vihiga county.