Preparedness of health facilities in managing hypertension & diabetes mellitus in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: a cross sectional study

BMC Health Services Research(2019)

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Background Hypertension and Diabetes mellitus are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases that cause 17 million deaths globally. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if hypertensive and diabetic patients had their blood pressure and glucose controlled. Less than 30% of hypertensive and diabetic patients on management have controlled their blood pressure and glucose respectively. This study aimed to determine the preparedness of health facilities in managing hypertensive and diabetic patients in terms of personnel; laboratory services provision, and local use of routinely collected data, and shows differences in preparedness between the levels of facilities. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study in Government, faith-based and private health facilities in two districts in Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania from March to July 2017. We collected data through interviews and observations on the preparedness of the facilities for managing hypertension and DM. Results Forty-three (43) health facilities and 62 healthcare workers (HCW) participated in the survey. Services for hypertension and DM were available in 37 (86%) and 34 (79%) health facilities respectively. Eighteen (53%) and five (15%) facilities had HCW trained on hypertension and DM management respectively within two years preceding the survey. Regular adherence to treatment guideline was reported in 18 (53%) of the health facilities. More than third of health facilities were without basic equipment for managing hypertension and DM. All the recommended laboratory tests were only available in four (15%) hospitals and one health center. Valid first line medicines for both hypertension and DM were available in six (50%) health centers, four (24%) dispensaries and in four (80.0%) hospitals. Health data collection, analysis and local use for planning were reported in all hospitals, nine (75%) health centers and four (24%) dispensaries. Conclusions Health facilities are not fully prepared to manage hypertension and DM. Health centers and dispensaries are mostly affected levels of health facilities. Government interventions to improve facility factors and collaborative approaches to build capacity to HCW are needed to enable health facilities be responsive to these diseases.
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Key words
Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Health facilities preparedness, Health services, Health system
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