Ministry in new drive to keep chronic diseases at bay

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 07:00 | By
Dr. Yvette Kisaka from the NCD- department, MOH
Dr. Yvette Kisaka from the NCD- department, MOH. PHOTO/Print

The Ministry of Health and its partners have taken a new initiative to implement national guidelines for the management of cardiovascular diseases.

Move comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates for diabetes prevalence in the country are expected to rise to 4.5 per cent by 2025.

 Currently, the prevalence of diabetes stands at 3.3 per cent, while hypertension stands at 24 per cent. Worryingly, about 78 per cent of patients diagnosed with hypertension are not on treatment.

And even as the ministry and partners are pondering the development of strategies to manage CVDs, diabetes and hypertension, being one of them, the country’s weak health systems are also a major concern.

According to Dr Yvette Kisaka, Programmes Lead in the Division of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Prevention and Control at the ministry, for the country to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), there is a need to strengthen health systems.

“As envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and wellbeing, meaning UHC, we have no option but to find better ways of managing these conditions,” she said during a zoom meeting to commemorate the World Heart Day on September 29.

On this day, AstraZeneca and partners were also commemorating nine years of impact in the fight against hypertension, helping to decrease the burden of CVDs and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through the Healthy Heart Africa programme.

Ministry data shows only three per cent of people on hypertension treatment have achieved blood pressure control.

“That is why, together with partners, we are developing strategies such as the National Guidelines for the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases,” Dr. Kisaka said.

Kenya is ranked number 31 African country in diabetes by International Diabetes Federation, with Type 2 of the condition being prevalent in Isiolo, Meru, and Thika at 98, 96 and 94 per cent, respectively.

There was a high prevalence of hypertension among adults, with low awareness, treatment and control rates.

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