Publications by authors named "Gladwell Gathecha"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Access to Medicines for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDS) during COVID-19 in Kenya: A Descriptive Commentary.

Health Syst Reform 2021 01;7(1):e1984865

Department of Global Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Evidence shows that those with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are at higher risk for serious illness and mortality from COVID-19. In Kenya, about 50% of the COVID-19 patients who have died had an NCD. We sought to describe the challenges faced in accessing NCD medicines in Kenya during the pandemic, through a descriptive narrative informed by key stakeholders engaged in NCD service delivery and decision-making. Access to NCD medicines was affected at three levels, service delivery, health facility information systems and the medicines supply chain to health facilities. In response to these gaps, the Ministry of Health released clear directives and interim guidelines for continuity of NCD service delivery. However, implementation of guidelines was not apparent from conversations with county officials or from assessment of county services by the Ministry. Rather, heterogeneity was observed in counties' responsiveness to patient needs, where 5 out of 13 counties used mHealth technologies, while 5 had no established system to reach patients. COVID-19 amplified gaps that already existed in the system-particularly around lack of robust supply chains and sub-optimal health information systems. This descriptive paper will be useful to policy makers to provide a summary of the key challenges faced in accessing NCD medicines, identify gaps in medicines delivery, and make case for establishment of a more equitable health system to meet the needs of lower-income NCD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23288604.2021.1984865DOI Listing
January 2021

Obesity and risk for hypertension and diabetes among Kenyan adults: Results from a national survey.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Oct;100(40):e27484

World Health Organization, Pretoria, South Africa.

Abstract: Despite the anticipated growth in the global burden of obesity especially in low-income countries, limited data exist on the contribution of obesity to cardiometabolic diseases in Africa.We examined population-based samples of Kenyan adults who participated in the 2015 national chronic disease risk factor surveillance survey. Weight and height were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated and used as a measure for general obesity. Waist circumference (WC), a clinical measure of central obesity was also measured. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between obesity with hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia risk.Of the 4276 participants, the median (IQR) age was 36 (27-47) years, 41% were men. One-third (37%) of the participants were centrally obese, whereas 10% were generally obese. The odds for overweight and general obesity were highest among females, adults >40 years, and those in the highest wealth quartile. Central and general obesity, assessed by WC and BMI, were associated with hypertension and dyslipidemia but not diabetes for both sexes. Compared with adults of normal weight, individuals with a BMI of ≥30 kg/m2 had an odds ratio of 2.39 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.82-3.12) for hypertension and 2.24 (95% CI, 1.70-2.96) for dyslipidemia.Obesity prevalence is high in Kenya and is associated with hypertension and dyslipidemia but not diabetes. Our findings indicate an urgent need to develop public health interventions to address obesity and prevent the development of comorbid conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000027484DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8500651PMC
October 2021

Prioritizing Health-Sector Interventions for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries in Low- and Lower-Middle Income Countries: National NCDI Poverty Commissions.

Glob Health Sci Pract 2021 09 30;9(3):626-639. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Partners In Health NCD Synergies, Boston, MA, USA.

Health sector priorities and interventions to prevent and manage noncommunicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs) in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LLMICs) have primarily adopted elements of the World Health Organization Global Action Plan for NCDs 2013-2020. However, there have been limited efforts in LLMICs to prioritize among conditions and health-sector interventions for NCDIs based on local epidemiology and contextually relevant risk factors or that incorporate the equitable distribution of health outcomes. The Commission on Reframing Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries for the Poorest Billion supported national NCDI Poverty Commissions to define local NCDI epidemiology, determine an expanded set of priority NCDI conditions, and recommend cost-effective, equitable health-sector interventions. Fifteen national commissions and 1 state-level commission were established from 2016-2019. Six commissions completed the prioritization exercise and selected an average of 25 NCDI conditions; 15 conditions were selected by all commissions, including asthma, breast cancer, cervical cancer, diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2, epilepsy, hypertensive heart disease, intracerebral hemorrhage, ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, major depressive disorder, motor vehicle road injuries, rheumatic heart disease, sickle cell disorders, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. The commissions prioritized an average of 35 health-sector interventions based on cost-effectiveness, financial risk protection, and equity-enhancing rankings. The prioritized interventions were estimated to cost an additional US$4.70-US$13.70 per capita or approximately 9.7%-35.6% of current total health expenditure (0.6%-4.0% of current gross domestic product). Semistructured surveys and qualitative interviews of commission representatives demonstrated positive outcomes in several thematic areas, including understanding NCDIs of poverty, informing national planning and implementation of NCDI health-sector interventions, and improving governance and coordination for NCDIs. Overall, national NCDI Poverty Commissions provided a platform for evidence-based, locally driven determination of priorities within NCDIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-21-00035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8514044PMC
September 2021

Maintaining care delivery for non-communicable diseases in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic in western Kenya.

Pan Afr Med J 2021 22;39:143. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, USA.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted health systems worldwide, gravely threatening continuity of care for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly in low-resource settings. We describe our efforts to maintain the continuity of care for patients with NCDs in rural western Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a five-component approach: 1) Protect: protect staff and patients; 2) Preserve: ensure medication availability and clinical services; 3) Promote: conduct health education and screenings for NCDs and COVID-19; 4) Process: collect process indicators and implement iterative quality improvement; and 5) Plan: plan for the future and ensure financial risk protection in the face of a potentially overwhelming health and economic catastrophe. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we must continue to pursue new avenues for improvement and expansion. We anticipate continuing to learn from the evolving local context and our global partners as we proceed with our efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2021.39.143.29708DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8418157PMC
October 2021

PASCAR and WHF Cardiovascular Diseases Scorecard project.

Cardiovasc J Afr 2021 May-Jun;32(3):161-167

Department of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya.

Data collected for the World Heart Federation's Scorecard project regarding the current state of cardiovascular disease prevention, control and management, along with related non-communicable diseases in Kenya are presented. Furthermore, the strengths, threats, weaknesses and priorities identified from these data are highlighted in concurrence with related sections in the accompanying infographic. Information was collected using open-source data sets from the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the International Diabetes Federation and relevant government publications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5830/CVJA-2021-022DOI Listing
July 2021

Socio-economic and demographic determinants of non-communicable diseases in Kenya: a secondary analysis of the Kenya stepwise survey.

Pan Afr Med J 2020 16;37:351. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Global Programs for Research and Training, University of California, San Francisco, Nairobi, Kenya.

Introduction: non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are projected to become the leading cause of death in Africa by 2030. Gender and socio-economic differences influence the prevalence of NCDs and their risk factors.

Methods: we performed a secondary analysis of the STEPS 2015 data to determine prevalence and correlation between diabetes, hypertension, harmful alcohol use, smoking, obesity and injuries across age, gender, residence and socio-economic strata.

Results: tobacco use prevalence was 13.5% (males 19.9%, females 0.9%, p<0.001); harmful alcohol use was 12.6% (males 18.1%, females 2.2%, p<0.001); central obesity was 27.9% (females 49.5%, males 32.9%, p=0.017); type 2 diabetes prevalence 3.1% (males 2.0%, females 2.8%, p=0.048); elevated blood pressure prevalence was 23.8% (males 25.1%, females 22.6%, p<0.001), non-use of helmets 72.8% (males 89.5%, females 56.0%, p=0.031) and seat belts non-use 67.9% (males 79.8%, females 56.0%, p=0.027). Respondents with <12 years of formal education had higher prevalence of non-use of helmets (81.7% versus 54.1%, p=0.03) and seat belts (73.0% versus 53.9%, p=0.039). Respondents in the highest wealth quintile had higher prevalence of type II diabetes compared with those in the lowest (5.2% versus 1.6%,p=0.008). Rural dwellers had 35% less odds of tobacco use (aOR 0.65, 95% CI 0.49, 0.86) compared with urban dwellers, those with ≥12 years of formal education had 89% less odds of tobacco use (aOR 0.11, 95% CI 0.07, 0.17) compared with <12 years, and those belonging to the wealthiest quintile had 64% higher odds of unhealthy diets (aOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.26, 2.14). Only 44% of respondents with type II diabetes and 16% with hypertension were aware of their diagnosis.

Conclusion: prevalence of NCD risk factors is high in Kenya and varies across socio-demographic attributes. Socio-demographic considerations should form part of multi-sectoral, integrated approach to reduce the NCD burden in Kenya.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2020.37.351.21167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7992900PMC
April 2021

Variation in the Proportion of Adults in Need of Blood Pressure-Lowering Medications by Hypertension Care Guideline in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Cross-Sectional Study of 1 037 215 Individuals From 50 Nationally Representative Surveys.

Circulation 2021 03 8;143(10):991-1001. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Division of Primary Care and Population Health, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, CA (P.G.).

Background: Current hypertension guidelines vary substantially in their definition of who should be offered blood pressure-lowering medications. Understanding the effect of guideline choice on the proportion of adults who require treatment is crucial for planning and scaling up hypertension care in low- and middle-income countries.

Methods: We extracted cross-sectional data on age, sex, blood pressure, hypertension treatment and diagnosis status, smoking, and body mass index for adults 30 to 70 years of age from nationally representative surveys in 50 low- and middle-income countries (N = 1 037 215). We aimed to determine the effect of hypertension guideline choice on the proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medications. We considered 4 hypertension guidelines: the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline, the commonly used 140/90 mm Hg threshold, the 2016 World Health Organization HEARTS guideline, and the 2019 UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline.

Results: The proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medications was highest under the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, followed by the 140/90 mm Hg, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and World Health Organization guidelines (American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association: women, 27.7% [95% CI, 27.2-28.2], men, 35.0% [95% CI, 34.4-35.7]; 140/90 mm Hg: women, 26.1% [95% CI, 25.5-26.6], men, 31.2% [95% CI, 30.6-31.9]; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: women, 11.8% [95% CI, 11.4-12.1], men, 15.7% [95% CI, 15.3-16.2]; World Health Organization: women, 9.2% [95% CI, 8.9-9.5], men, 11.0% [95% CI, 10.6-11.4]). Individuals who were unaware that they have hypertension were the primary contributor to differences in the proportion needing treatment under different guideline criteria. Differences in the proportion needing blood pressure-lowering medications were largest in the oldest (65-69 years) age group (American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association: women, 60.2% [95% CI, 58.8-61.6], men, 70.1% [95% CI, 68.8-71.3]; World Health Organization: women, 20.1% [95% CI, 18.8-21.3], men, 24.1.0% [95% CI, 22.3-25.9]). For both women and men and across all guidelines, countries in the European and Eastern Mediterranean regions had the highest proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medicines, whereas the South and Central Americas had the lowest.

Conclusions: There was substantial variation in the proportion of adults in need of blood pressure-lowering medications depending on which hypertension guideline was used. Given the great implications of this choice for health system capacity, policy makers will need to carefully consider which guideline they should adopt when scaling up hypertension care in their country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.051620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940589PMC
March 2021

Reframing Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries for Equity in the Era of Universal Health Coverage: Findings and Recommendations from the Kenya NCDI Poverty Commission.

Ann Glob Health 2021 01 5;87(1). Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Division of Primary Care Medicine, Geneva University Hospital and University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: Kenya has implemented a robust response to non-communicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs); however, key gaps in health services for NCDIs still exist in the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The Kenya Non-Communicable Diseases and Injury (NCDI) Poverty Commission was established to estimate the burden of NCDIs, determine the availability and coverage of health services, prioritize an expanded set of NCDI conditions, and propose cost-effective and equity-promoting interventions to avert the health and economic consequences of NCDIs in Kenya.

Methods: Burden of NCDIs in Kenya was determined using desk review of published literature, estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study, and secondary analysis of local health surveillance data. Secondary analysis of nationally representative surveys was conducted to estimate current availability and coverage of services by socioeconomic status. The Commission then conducted a structured priority setting process to determine priority NCDI conditions and health sector interventions based on published evidence.

Findings: There is a large and diverse burden of NCDIs in Kenya, with the majority of disability-adjusted life-years occurring before age of 40. The poorest wealth quintiles experience a substantially higher deaths rate from NCDIs, lower coverage of diagnosis and treatment for NCDIs, and lower availability of NCDI-related health services. The Commission prioritized 14 NCDIs and selected 34 accompanying interventions for recommendation to achieve UHC. These interventions were estimated to cost $11.76 USD per capita annually, which represents 15% of current total health expenditure. This investment could potentially avert 9,322 premature deaths per year by 2030.

Conclusions And Recommendations: An expanded set of priority NCDI conditions and health sector interventions are required in Kenya to achieve UHC, particularly for disadvantaged socioeconomic groups. We provided recommendations for integration of services within existing health services platforms and financing mechanisms and coordination of whole-of-government approaches for the prevention and treatment of NCDIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/aogh.3085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792462PMC
January 2021

Lifetime Prevalence of Cervical Cancer Screening in 55 Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

JAMA 2020 10;324(15):1532-1542

Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH), Medical Faculty and University Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Importance: The World Health Organization is developing a global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer, with goals for screening prevalence among women aged 30 through 49 years. However, evidence on prevalence levels of cervical cancer screening in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is sparse.

Objective: To determine lifetime cervical cancer screening prevalence in LMICs and its variation across and within world regions and countries.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Analysis of cross-sectional nationally representative household surveys carried out in 55 LMICs from 2005 through 2018. The median response rate across surveys was 93.8% (range, 64.0%-99.3%). The population-based sample consisted of 1 136 289 women aged 15 years or older, of whom 6885 (0.6%) had missing information for the survey question on cervical cancer screening.

Exposures: World region, country; countries' economic, social, and health system characteristics; and individuals' sociodemographic characteristics.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Self-report of having ever had a screening test for cervical cancer.

Results: Of the 1 129 404 women included in the analysis, 542 475 were aged 30 through 49 years. A country-level median of 43.6% (interquartile range [IQR], 13.9%-77.3%; range, 0.3%-97.4%) of women aged 30 through 49 years self-reported to have ever been screened, with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean having the highest prevalence (country-level median, 84.6%; IQR, 65.7%-91.1%; range, 11.7%-97.4%) and those in sub-Saharan Africa the lowest prevalence (country-level median, 16.9%; IQR, 3.7%-31.0%; range, 0.9%-50.8%). There was large variation in the self-reported lifetime prevalence of cervical cancer screening among countries within regions and among countries with similar levels of per capita gross domestic product and total health expenditure. Within countries, women who lived in rural areas, had low educational attainment, or had low household wealth were generally least likely to self-report ever having been screened.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of data collected in 55 low- and middle-income countries from 2005 through 2018, there was wide variation between countries in the self-reported lifetime prevalence of cervical cancer screening. However, the median prevalence was only 44%, supporting the need to increase the rate of screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.16244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7576410PMC
October 2020

Conducting an international curriculum review meeting in the age of COVID-19.

Can J Surg 2020 Sep-Oct;63(5):E418-E421

From the Canadian Network for International Surgery, Vancouver, BC (Lett, Bola); the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute, ICCT, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Boniface); the McMaster Children's Hospital, Hamilton, Ont. (Eamer); and the Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya (Gathecha).

Summary: The Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS) hosted a workshop in May of 2020 with a goal of critically evaluating Trauma Team Training courses. The workshop was held virtually because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Twenty-three participants attended from 8 countries: Canada, Guyana, Kenya, Nigeria, Switzerland, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States. More participants were able to attend the virtual meeting than the traditional in-person meetings. Web-based videoconference software was used, participants presented prerecorded PowerPoint videos, and questions were raised using a written chat. The review proved successful, with discussions and recommendations for improvements surrounding course quality, lecture content, skills sessions, curriculum variations and clinical practical scenarios. The CNIS's successful experience conducting an online curriculum review involving international participants may prove useful to others proceeding with collaborative projects during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608712PMC
October 2020

Analysis of Attained Height and Diabetes Among 554,122 Adults Across 25 Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

Diabetes Care 2020 10 6;43(10):2403-2410. Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Department of Economics and Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Objective: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rising rapidly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), but the factors driving this rapid increase are not well understood. Adult height, in particular shorter height, has been suggested to contribute to the pathophysiology and epidemiology of diabetes and may inform how adverse environmental conditions in early life affect diabetes risk. We therefore systematically analyzed the association of adult height and diabetes across LMICs, where such conditions are prominent.

Research Design And Methods: We pooled individual-level data from nationally representative surveys in LMICs that included anthropometric measurements and diabetes biomarkers. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) for the relationship between attained adult height and diabetes using multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression models. We estimated ORs for the pooled sample, major world regions, and individual countries, in addition to stratifying all analyses by sex. We examined heterogeneity by individual-level characteristics.

Results: Our sample included 554,122 individuals across 25 population-based surveys. Average height was 161.7 cm (95% CI 161.2-162.3), and the crude prevalence of diabetes was 7.5% (95% CI 6.9-8.2). We found no relationship between adult height and diabetes across LMICs globally or in most world regions. When stratifying our sample by country and sex, we found an inverse association between adult height and diabetes in 5% of analyses (2 out of 50). Results were robust to alternative model specifications.

Conclusions: Adult height is not associated with diabetes across LMICs. Environmental factors in early life reflected in attained adult height likely differ from those predisposing individuals for diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc20-0019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7646204PMC
October 2020

Diabetes Prevalence and Its Relationship With Education, Wealth, and BMI in 29 Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

Diabetes Care 2020 04 12;43(4):767-775. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Non-Communicable Diseases, Caribbean Public Health Agency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Objective: Diabetes is a rapidly growing health problem in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but empirical data on its prevalence and relationship to socioeconomic status are scarce. We estimated diabetes prevalence and the subset with undiagnosed diabetes in 29 LMICs and evaluated the relationship of education, household wealth, and BMI with diabetes risk.

Research Design And Methods: We pooled individual-level data from 29 nationally representative surveys conducted between 2008 and 2016, totaling 588,574 participants aged ≥25 years. Diabetes prevalence and the subset with undiagnosed diabetes was calculated overall and by country, World Bank income group (WBIG), and geographic region. Multivariable Poisson regression models were used to estimate relative risk (RR).

Results: Overall, prevalence of diabetes in 29 LMICs was 7.5% (95% CI 7.1-8.0) and of undiagnosed diabetes 4.9% (4.6-5.3). Diabetes prevalence increased with increasing WBIG: countries with low-income economies (LICs) 6.7% (5.5-8.1), lower-middle-income economies (LMIs) 7.1% (6.6-7.6), and upper-middle-income economies (UMIs) 8.2% (7.5-9.0). Compared with no formal education, greater educational attainment was associated with an increased risk of diabetes across WBIGs, after adjusting for BMI (LICs RR 1.47 [95% CI 1.22-1.78], LMIs 1.14 [1.06-1.23], and UMIs 1.28 [1.02-1.61]).

Conclusions: Among 29 LMICs, diabetes prevalence was substantial and increased with increasing WBIG. In contrast to the association seen in high-income countries, diabetes risk was highest among those with greater educational attainment, independent of BMI. LMICs included in this analysis may be at an advanced stage in the nutrition transition but with no reversal in the socioeconomic gradient of diabetes risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc19-1782DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7085810PMC
April 2020

Evaluation of sex differences in dietary behaviours and their relationship with cardiovascular risk factors: a cross-sectional study of nationally representative surveys in seven low- and middle-income countries.

Nutr J 2020 01 13;19(1). Epub 2020 Jan 13.

The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading causes of death for men and women in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). The nutrition transition to diets high in salt, fat and sugar and low in fruit and vegetables, in parallel with increasing prevalence of diet-related CVD risk factors in LMICs, identifies the need for urgent action to reverse this trend. To aid identification of the most effective interventions it is crucial to understand whether there are sex differences in dietary behaviours related to CVD risk.

Methods: From a dataset of 46 nationally representative surveys, we included data from seven countries that had recorded the same dietary behaviour measurements in adults; Bhutan, Eswatini, Georgia, Guyana, Kenya, Nepal and St Vincent and the Grenadines (2013-2017). Three dietary behaviours were investigated: positive salt use behaviour (SUB), meeting fruit and vegetable (F&V) recommendations and use of vegetable oil rather than animal fats in cooking. Generalized linear models were used to investigate the association between dietary behaviours and waist circumference (WC) and undiagnosed and diagnosed hypertension and diabetes. Interaction terms between sex and dietary behaviour were added to test for sex differences.

Results: Twenty-four thousand three hundred thirty-two participants were included. More females than males reported positive SUB (31.3 vs. 27.2% p-value < 0.001), yet less met F&V recommendations (13.2 vs. 14.8%, p-value< 0.05). The prevalence of reporting all three dietary behaviours in a positive manner was 2.7%, varying by country, but not sex. Poor SUB was associated with a higher prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension for females (13.1% vs. 9.9%, p-value = 0.04), and a higher prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes for males (2.4% vs. 1.5%, p-value = 0.02). Meeting F&V recommendations was associated with a higher prevalence of high WC (24.4% vs 22.6%, p-value = 0.01), but was not associated with undiagnosed or diagnosed hypertension or diabetes.

Conclusion: Interventions to increase F&V intake and positive SUBs in the included countries are urgently needed. Dietary behaviours were not notably different between sexes. However, our findings were limited by the small proportion of the population reporting positive dietary behaviours, and further research is required to understand whether associations with CVD risk factors and interactions by sex would change as the prevalence of positive behaviours increases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12937-019-0517-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6956488PMC
January 2020

Prevalence and factors associated with chronic kidney disease among medical inpatients at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya, 2018: a cross-sectional study.

Pan Afr Med J 2019 23;33:321. Epub 2019 Aug 23.

College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya.

Introduction: The burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing worldwide. Few studies in low and low-middle income countries have estimated the prevalence of CKD. We aimed to estimate prevalence and factors associated with CKD among medical inpatients at the largest referral hospital in Kenya.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among medical inpatients at the Kenyatta National Hospital. We used systematic sampling and collected demographic information, behavioural risk factors, medical history, underlying conditions, laboratory and imaging workup using a structured questionnaire. We estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in ml/min/1.73m classified into 5 stages; G1 (≥ 90), G2 (60-89), G3a (45-59), G3b (30-44), G4 (15-29) and G5 (<15, or treated by dialysis/renal transplant). Ethical approval was obtained from Kenyatta National Hospital-University of Nairobi Ethics and Research Committee (KNH-UoN ERC), approval number P510/09/2017. We estimated prevalence of CKD and used logistic regression to determine factors independently associated with CKD diagnosis.

Results: We interviewed 306 inpatients; median age 40.0 years (IQR 24.0), 162 (52.9%) were male, 155 (50.7%) rural residents. CKD prevalence was 118 patients (38.6%, 95% CI 33.3-44.1); median age 42.5 years (IQR 28.0), 74 (62.7%) were male, 64 (54.2%) rural residents. Respondents with CKD were older than those without (difference 4.4 years, 95% CI 3.7-8.4 years, P = 0.032). Fifty-six (47.5%) of the patients had either stage G1 or G2, 17 (14.4%) had end-stage renal disease; 64 (54.2%) had haemoglobin below 10g/dl while 33 (28.0%) had sodium levels below 135 mmol/l. ). History of unexplained anaemia (aOR 1.80, 95% CI 1.02-3.19), proteinuria (aOR 5.16, 95% CI 2.09-12.74), hematuria (aOR 7.68, 95% CI 2.37-24.86); hypertension (aOR 2.71, 95% CI 1.53-4.80) and herbal medications use (aOR 1.97, 95% CI 1.07-3.64) were independently associated with CKD.

Conclusion: Burden of CKD was high among this inpatient population. Haematuria and proteinuria can aid CKD diagnosis. Public awareness on health hazards of herbal medication use is necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2019.33.321.18114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815467PMC
November 2019

The state of hypertension care in 44 low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study of nationally representative individual-level data from 1·1 million adults.

Lancet 2019 08 18;394(10199):652-662. Epub 2019 Jul 18.

Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: Evidence from nationally representative studies in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) on where in the hypertension care continuum patients are lost to care is sparse. This information, however, is essential for effective targeting of interventions by health services and monitoring progress in improving hypertension care. We aimed to determine the cascade of hypertension care in 44 LMICs-and its variation between countries and population groups-by dividing the progression in the care process, from need of care to successful treatment, into discrete stages and measuring the losses at each stage.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we pooled individual-level population-based data from 44 LMICs. We first searched for nationally representative datasets from the WHO Stepwise Approach to Surveillance (STEPS) from 2005 or later. If a STEPS dataset was not available for a LMIC (or we could not gain access to it), we conducted a systematic search for survey datasets; the inclusion criteria in these searches were that the survey was done in 2005 or later, was nationally representative for at least three 10-year age groups older than 15 years, included measured blood pressure data, and contained data on at least two hypertension care cascade steps. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure of at least 140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure of at least 90 mm Hg, or reported use of medication for hypertension. Among those with hypertension, we calculated the proportion of individuals who had ever had their blood pressure measured; had been diagnosed with hypertension; had been treated for hypertension; and had achieved control of their hypertension. We weighted countries proportionally to their population size when determining this hypertension care cascade at the global and regional level. We disaggregated the hypertension care cascade by age, sex, education, household wealth quintile, body-mass index, smoking status, country, and region. We used linear regression to predict, separately for each cascade step, a country's performance based on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, allowing us to identify countries whose performance fell outside of the 95% prediction interval.

Findings: Our pooled dataset included 1 100 507 participants, of whom 192 441 (17·5%) had hypertension. Among those with hypertension, 73·6% of participants (95% CI 72·9-74·3) had ever had their blood pressure measured, 39·2% of participants (38·2-40·3) had been diagnosed with hypertension, 29·9% of participants (28·6-31·3) received treatment, and 10·3% of participants (9·6-11·0) achieved control of their hypertension. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean generally achieved the best performance relative to their predicted performance based on GDP per capita, whereas countries in sub-Saharan Africa performed worst. Bangladesh, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, and Peru performed significantly better on all care cascade steps than predicted based on GDP per capita. Being a woman, older, more educated, wealthier, and not being a current smoker were all positively associated with attaining each of the four steps of the care cascade.

Interpretation: Our study provides important evidence for the design and targeting of health policies and service interventions for hypertension in LMICs. We show at what steps and for whom there are gaps in the hypertension care process in each of the 44 countries in our study. We also identified countries in each world region that perform better than expected from their economic development, which can direct policy makers to important policy lessons. Given the high disease burden caused by hypertension in LMICs, nationally representative hypertension care cascades, as constructed in this study, are an important measure of progress towards achieving universal health coverage.

Funding: Harvard McLennan Family Fund, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
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August 2019

Health system performance for people with diabetes in 28 low- and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional study of nationally representative surveys.

PLoS Med 2019 03 1;16(3):e1002751. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

Liberia Ministry of Health, Monrovia, Liberia.

Background: The prevalence of diabetes is increasing rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), urgently requiring detailed evidence to guide the response of health systems to this epidemic. In an effort to understand at what step in the diabetes care continuum individuals are lost to care, and how this varies between countries and population groups, this study examined health system performance for diabetes among adults in 28 LMICs using a cascade of care approach.

Methods And Findings: We pooled individual participant data from nationally representative surveys done between 2008 and 2016 in 28 LMICs. Diabetes was defined as fasting plasma glucose ≥ 7.0 mmol/l (126 mg/dl), random plasma glucose ≥ 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl), HbA1c ≥ 6.5%, or reporting to be taking medication for diabetes. Stages of the care cascade were as follows: tested, diagnosed, lifestyle advice and/or medication given ("treated"), and controlled (HbA1c < 8.0% or equivalent). We stratified cascades of care by country, geographic region, World Bank income group, and individual-level characteristics (age, sex, educational attainment, household wealth quintile, and body mass index [BMI]). We then used logistic regression models with country-level fixed effects to evaluate predictors of (1) testing, (2) treatment, and (3) control. The final sample included 847,413 adults in 28 LMICs (8 low income, 9 lower-middle income, 11 upper-middle income). Survey sample size ranged from 824 in Guyana to 750,451 in India. The prevalence of diabetes was 8.8% (95% CI: 8.2%-9.5%), and the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes was 4.8% (95% CI: 4.5%-5.2%). Health system performance for management of diabetes showed large losses to care at the stage of being tested, and low rates of diabetes control. Total unmet need for diabetes care (defined as the sum of those not tested, tested but undiagnosed, diagnosed but untreated, and treated but with diabetes not controlled) was 77.0% (95% CI: 74.9%-78.9%). Performance along the care cascade was significantly better in upper-middle income countries, but across all World Bank income groups, only half of participants with diabetes who were tested achieved diabetes control. Greater age, educational attainment, and BMI were associated with higher odds of being tested, being treated, and achieving control. The limitations of this study included the use of a single glucose measurement to assess diabetes, differences in the approach to wealth measurement across surveys, and variation in the date of the surveys.

Conclusions: The study uncovered poor management of diabetes along the care cascade, indicating large unmet need for diabetes care across 28 LMICs. Performance across the care cascade varied by World Bank income group and individual-level characteristics, particularly age, educational attainment, and BMI. This policy-relevant analysis can inform country-specific interventions and offers a baseline by which future progress can be measured.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002751DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396901PMC
March 2019

Health disparities across the counties of Kenya and implications for policy makers, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.

Lancet Glob Health 2019 Jan 25;7(1):e81-e95. Epub 2018 Oct 25.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Department of Health Metrics Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2016 provided comprehensive estimates of health loss globally. Decision makers in Kenya can use GBD subnational data to target health interventions and address county-level variation in the burden of disease.

Methods: We used GBD 2016 estimates of life expectancy at birth, healthy life expectancy, all-cause and cause-specific mortality, years of life lost, years lived with disability, disability-adjusted life-years, and risk factors to analyse health by age and sex at the national and county levels in Kenya from 1990 to 2016.

Findings: The national all-cause mortality rate decreased from 850·3 (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 829·8-871·1) deaths per 100 000 in 1990 to 579·0 (562·1-596·0) deaths per 100 000 in 2016. Under-5 mortality declined from 95·4 (95% UI 90·1-101·3) deaths per 1000 livebirths in 1990 to 43·4 (36·9-51·2) deaths per 1000 livebirths in 2016, and maternal mortality fell from 315·7 (242·9-399·4) deaths per 100 000 in 1990 to 257·6 (195·1-335·3) deaths per 100 000 in 2016, with steeper declines after 2006 and heterogeneously across counties. Life expectancy at birth increased by 5·4 (95% UI 3·7-7·2) years, with higher gains in females than males in all but ten counties. Unsafe water, sanitation, and handwashing, unsafe sex, and malnutrition were the leading national risk factors in 2016.

Interpretation: Health outcomes have improved in Kenya since 2006. The burden of communicable diseases decreased but continues to predominate the total disease burden in 2016, whereas the non-communicable disease burden increased. Health gains varied strikingly across counties, indicating targeted approaches for health policy are necessary.

Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30472-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6293072PMC
January 2019

Tobacco use and its determinants in the 2015 Kenya WHO STEPS survey.

BMC Public Health 2018 Nov 7;18(Suppl 3):1223. Epub 2018 Nov 7.

Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015, over 1.1 billion people smoked tobacco, which represents around 15% of the global population. In Africa, around one in five adults smoke tobacco. The 2014 Kenya Global Adult Tobacco Survey reported that 2.5 million adults use tobacco products. The objective of our study was to describe patterns and determinants of tobacco use from the 2015 Kenya STEPS survey, including use of "smokeless" tobacco products and the more novel e-cigarettes.

Methods: The WHO STEPwise approach to surveillance (STEPS) was completed in Kenya between April and June 2015. Logistic regression analyses was used to assess factors affecting prevalence and frequency of tobacco use. Sociodemographic variables associated with tobacco use were considered: age, sex, level of education, wealth quintile, and residence. The relationship with alcohol as an intervening risk factor was also assessed. Our main outcomes of interest were current tobacco use, daily tobacco use and use of smokeless tobacco products.

Results: Of 4484 respondents, 605 (13.5%) reported being current tobacco users. Most active tobacco users were male (n = 507/605, 83.8%). Three out of four tobacco users (n = 468/605, 77.4%) reported being less than 50 years old, with the average start age being 21 (20.6, 95% CI 19.3-21.8) and the average quit age 27 (27.2, 95% CI 25.8-28.6). Most tobacco users had only ever attended up to primary school (n = 434/605, 71.7%). Men had nearly seven times higher odds of being tobacco users as compared to women (OR 7.63, 95% CI 5.63-10.33). Alcohol use had a positive effect on tobacco use. Finally, less than ten respondents reported having used e-cigarettes.

Conclusion: The 2015 Kenya WHO STEPS provided primary data on the status of tobacco use in the country and other leading NCD risk factors, such as alcohol, and associated diseases. Our findings highlight key target populations for tobacco cessation efforts: young people, men, those with lower levels of education, and alcohol consumers. Further data is needed on the use of smokeless tobacco, and its impact on smoked tobacco products, as well as on the novel use of e-cigarettes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6058-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219013PMC
November 2018

Prevalence and determinants of heavy episodic drinking among adults in Kenya: analysis of the STEPwise survey, 2015.

BMC Public Health 2018 Nov 7;18(Suppl 3):1216. Epub 2018 Nov 7.

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Background: Globally, alcohol consumption contributes to 3.3 million deaths and 5.1% of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), and its use is linked with more than 200 disease and injury conditions. Our study assessed the frequency and patterns of Heavy Episodic Drinking (HED) in Kenya. HED is defined as consumption of 60 or more grams of pure alcohol (6+ standard drinks in most countries) on at least one single occasion per month. Understanding the burden and patterns of heavy episodic drinking will be helpful to inform strategies that would curb the problem in Kenya.

Methods: Using the WHO STEPwise approach to surveillance (STEPS) tool, a nationally representative household survey of 4203 adults aged 18-69 years was conducted in Kenya between April and June 2015. We used logistic regression analysis to assess factors associated with HED among both current and former alcohol drinkers. We included the following socio-demographic variables: age, sex, and marital status, level of education, socio-economic status, residence, and tobacco as an interaction factor.

Results: The prevalence of HED was 12.6%. Men were more likely to engage in HED than women (unadjusted OR 9.9 95%, CI 5.5-18.8). The highest proportion of HED was reported in the 18-29-year age group (35.5%). Those currently married/ cohabiting had the highest prevalence of HED (60%). Respondents who were separated had three times higher odds of HED compared to married counterparts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.3-5.7). Approximately 16.0% of respondents reported cessation of alcohol use due to health reasons. Nearly two thirds reported drinking home-brewed beers or wines. Tobacco consumption was associated with higher odds of HED (unadjusted OR 6.9, 95% CI 4.4-10.8); those that smoke (34.4%) were more likely to engage in HED compared to their non-smoking counterparts.

Conclusion: Our findings highlight a significant prevalence of HED among alcohol drinkers in Kenya. Young males, those with less education, married people, and tobacco users were more likely to report heavy alcohol use, with male sex as the primary driving factor. These findings are novel to the country and region; they provide guidance to target alcohol control interventions for different groups in Kenya.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6057-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219062PMC
November 2018

Prevalence and predictors of injuries in Kenya: findings from the national STEPs survey.

BMC Public Health 2018 Nov 7;18(Suppl 3):1222. Epub 2018 Nov 7.

Division of Non Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Heath, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: Injuries are becoming an increasingly important public health challenge globally, and are responsible for 9% of deaths. Beyond their impact on health and well-being, fatal and non-fatal injuries also affect social and economic development for individuals concerned. Kenya has limited data on the magnitude and factors associated with injuries. This study sought to determine the magnitude and risk factors for injuries in Kenya and to identify where the largest burden lies.

Methods: A national population-based household survey was conducted from April-June 2015 among adults age 18-69 years. A three-stage cluster sample design was used to select clusters, households and eligible individuals based on WHO guidelines. We estimated the prevalence of injuries, identified factors associated with injuries and the use of protective devices/practices among road users. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify potential factors associated with injuries.

Results: A total of 4484 adults were included in the study. Approximately 15% had injuries from the past 12 months, 60.3% were males. Four percent of the respondents had been injured in a road traffic crash, 10.9% had experienced unintentional injuries other than road traffic injuries while 3.7% had been injured in violent incidents. Among drivers and passengers 12.5% reported always using a seatbelt and 8.1% of the drivers reported driving while drunk. The leading causes of injuries other than road traffic crashes were falls (47.6%) and cuts (34.0%). Males (p = 0.001), age 18-29 (p < 0.05) and smokers (p = 0.001) were significantly more likely to be injured in a road traffic crash. A higher social economic status (p = 0.001) was protective against other unintentional injuries while students had higher odds for such types of injuries. Heavy episodic drinking (p = 0.001) and smoking (p < 0.05) were associated with increased likelihood of occurrence of a violent injury.

Conclusions: Our study found that male, heavy episodic drinkers, current smokers and students were associated with various injury types. Our study findings highlight the need to scale up interventions for injury prevention for specific injury mechanisms and target groups. There is need for sustained road safety mass media campaigns and strengthened enforcement on helmet wearing, seatbelt use and drink driving.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6061-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219001PMC
November 2018

Cost and affordability of non-communicable disease screening, diagnosis and treatment in Kenya: Patient payments in the private and public sectors.

PLoS One 2018 5;13(1):e0190113. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Department of Human Pathology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.

Introduction: The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is rising in low- and middle-income countries, including Kenya, disproportionately to the rest of the world. Our objective was to quantify patient payments to obtain NCD screening, diagnosis, and treatment services in the public and private sector in Kenya and evaluate patients' ability to pay for the services.

Methods And Findings: We collected payment data on cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, breast and cervical cancer, and respiratory diseases from Kenyatta National Hospital, the main tertiary public hospital, and the Kibera South Health Center-a public outpatient facility, and private sector practitioners and hospitals. We developed detailed treatment frameworks for each NCD and used an itemization cost approach to estimate payments. Patient affordability metrics were derived from Kenyan government surveys and national datasets. Results compare public and private costs in U.S. dollars. NCD screening costs ranged from $4 to $36, while diagnostic procedures, particularly for breast and cervical cancer, were substantially more expensive. Annual hypertension medication costs ranged from $26 to $234 and $418 to $987 in public and private facilities, respectively. Stroke admissions ($1,874 versus $16,711) and dialysis for chronic kidney disease ($5,338 versus $11,024) were among the most expensive treatments. Cervical and breast cancer treatment cost for stage III (curative approach) was about $1,500 in public facilities and more than $7,500 in the private facilities. A large proportion of Kenyans aged 15 to 49 years do not have health insurance, which makes NCD services unaffordable for most people given the overall high cost of services relative to income (average household expenditure per adult is $413 per annum).

Conclusions: There is substantial variation in patient costs between the public and private sectors. Most NCD diagnosis and treatment costs, even in the public sector, represent a substantial economic burden that can result in catastrophic expenditures.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5755777PMC
January 2018

Demographic profile and pattern of fatal injuries in Nairobi, Kenya, January-June 2014.

BMC Public Health 2017 01 6;17(1):34. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Ministry of Health, Afya House, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: Violence and Injuries are a significant global public health concern characterized by marked regional variation in incidence. Approximately five million people die from injuries each year, accounting 9% of all deaths worldwide. In Kenya, injuries are increasingly becoming a cause of hospital admissions and mortality where they account for 10% of all the deaths. The objective of this study was to determine the magnitude, demographic profile and pattern of fatal injuries in Nairobi.

Methods: Retrospective review of death certificates from the Department of Civil Registration was done for deaths caused by injuries that occurred in Nairobi during the period, January to June 2014. Data was collected using a standardized form. Data entry, cleaning and analysis was done using Epi info version 7.0.

Results: A total of 11,443 records were reviewed. From this data, deaths resulting from injuries were 1,208 accounting for 10.6% of all recorded deaths. Majority of the deaths resulting from injuries occurred in persons aged 25 to 44 years (48.1%). Males accounted for 85% of all the injuries. The leading cause of injury was assault by blunt force at 30.5%, followed by road traffic injuries at 25.9% and fire arm injuries at 15%. Pre-hospital deaths accounted for 51.4% of all the deaths. Nineteen percent of the deaths resulting from injuries had autopsies performed on them.

Conclusion: Our study found that injuries are an important cause of fatality in Nairobi, accounting for one in ten deaths. There is need for multisectoral collaboration as some of the preventive measures that target the most prevalent injuries such as assault and road traffic injuries lie outside the health sector. There exists information gaps on the death certificates hence there is need to adequately capacity build both clinicians and death certifiers. There is also a need to revise the death certificates and to improve the pre-hospital care system for the injured persons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3958-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5217327PMC
January 2017

Diabetes diagnosis and care in sub-Saharan Africa: pooled analysis of individual data from 12 countries.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016 11 7;4(11):903-912. Epub 2016 Oct 7.

Division of Medicine, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Despite widespread recognition that the burden of diabetes is rapidly growing in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, nationally representative estimates of unmet need for diabetes diagnosis and care are in short supply for the region. We use national population-based survey data to quantify diabetes prevalence and met and unmet need for diabetes diagnosis and care in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We further estimate demographic and economic gradients of met need for diabetes diagnosis and care.

Methods: We did a pooled analysis of individual-level data from nationally representative population-based surveys that met the following inclusion criteria: the data were collected during 2005-15; the data were made available at the individual level; a biomarker for diabetes was available in the dataset; and the dataset included information on use of core health services for diabetes diagnosis and care. We first quantified the population in need of diabetes diagnosis and care by estimating the prevalence of diabetes across the surveys; we also quantified the prevalence of overweight and obesity, as a major risk factor for diabetes and an indicator of need for diabetes screening. Second, we determined the level of met need for diabetes diagnosis, preventive counselling, and treatment in both the diabetic and the overweight and obese population. Finally, we did survey fixed-effects regressions to establish the demographic and economic gradients of met need for diabetes diagnosis, counselling, and treatment.

Findings: We pooled data from 12 nationally representative population-based surveys in sub-Saharan Africa, representing 38 311 individuals with a biomarker measurement for diabetes. Across the surveys, the median prevalence of diabetes was 5% (range 2-14) and the median prevalence of overweight or obesity was 27% (range 16-68). We estimated seven measures of met need for diabetes-related care across the 12 surveys: (1) percentage of the overweight or obese population who received a blood glucose measurement (median 22% [IQR 11-37]); and percentage of the diabetic population who reported that they (2) had ever received a blood glucose measurement (median 36% [IQR 27-63]); (3) had ever been told that they had diabetes (median 27% [IQR 22-51]); (4) had ever been counselled to lose weight (median 15% [IQR 13-23]); (5) had ever been counselled to exercise (median 15% [IQR 11-30]); (6) were using oral diabetes drugs (median 25% [IQR 18-42]); and (7) were using insulin (median 11% [IQR 6-13]). Compared with those aged 15-39 years, the adjusted odds of met need for diabetes diagnosis (measures 1-3) were 2·22 to 3·53 (40-54 years) and 3·82 to 5·01 (≥55 years) times higher. The adjusted odds of met need for diabetes diagnosis also increased consistently with educational attainment and were between 3·07 and 4·56 higher for the group with 8 years or more of education than for the group with less than 1 year of education. Finally, need for diabetes care was significantly more likely to be met (measures 4-7) in the oldest age and highest educational groups.

Interpretation: Diabetes has already reached high levels of prevalence in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Large proportions of need for diabetes diagnosis and care in the region remain unmet, but the patterns of unmet need vary widely across the countries in our sample. Novel health policies and programmes are urgently needed to increase awareness of diabetes and to expand coverage of preventive counselling, diagnosis, and linkage to diabetes care. Because the probability of met need for diabetes diagnosis and care consistently increases with age and educational attainment, policy makers should pay particular attention to improved access to diabetes services for young adults and people with low educational attainment.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30181-4DOI Listing
November 2016

Vision testing to prevent road traffic accidents in Kenya.

Community Eye Health 2015 ;28(91):S04-6

Deputy Director: Safety Strategies and Country Committees, National Transport and Safety Authority, Nairobi, Kenya.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790179PMC
March 2016

Tobacco control research in Kenya: the existing body of knowledge.

Pan Afr Med J 2014 4;17:155. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Ministry of Health, Kenya-Division of Non Communicable Diseases, Kenya.

This review examines the existing tobacco control research done in the country. It further identifies key gaps present in research and gives recommendations on priority research areas required to implement effective tobacco control programmes. Published literature, technical reports and reports by the Ministry of Health were reviewed. It included studies that measure tobacco use and its effects, monitor progress of tobacco control, or articles that are discussing tobacco control policy. The review was conducted in January 2013 and included 18 papers. There are six studies that assessed the prevalence of current tobacco consumption which yielded prevalence's of between 3.8%-19%. Only one study tried to determine an association between Tobacco use and Health. Studies that monitored progress of legislation indicated that the country lacked coordinated efforts for tobacco control, enforcement was weak and monitoring of the existing tobacco legislation was poor. This review has demonstrated that Kenya has made efforts to generate knowledge on tobacco control through research. However there is lack of research that demonstrates the effects of tobacco consumption on health and studies that detail the impact of the various tobacco control interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11604/pamj.2014.17.155.2707DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4119461PMC
May 2015

Dental caries and oral health practices among 12 year old children in Nairobi West and Mathira West Districts, Kenya.

Pan Afr Med J 2012 22;12:42. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya.

Background: Dental caries is a common disease in children which causes pain with resultant effect on various physiological and social functions. The main objective of the study was to determine the association between dental caries and oral health knowledge and practice among children in Nairobi West and Mathira West Districts.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 639 children aged 12 years attending public primary schools in Nairobi West and Mathira West districts between August 2009-February 2010. A questionnaire was used to determine the level of knowledge and practices employed. Oral screening was performed using World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended methods. Dental caries was measured using the Decayed, Missing, Filled Teeth (DMFT) index.

Results: Nairobi West District had significantly higher caries prevalence of 37.5% than Mathira West District (24.0%). The DMFT in Nairobi West District was 0.76 ± 1.2, while in Mathira West District it was 0.36 ± 0.7. On multivariate analysis high consumption of soda was found to be a significant risk factor for dental caries in Nairobi West District(Odds Ratio (OR) = 3.0). In Mathira West District having an illiterate mother was a significant risk factor for dental caries (OR = 4.3).

Conclusion: Countrywide intensive oral health promotion should be carried out especially in urban areas, to reduce the higher prevalence of dental caries. The school health policy should be used to promote oral health by provision of oral health instructions and highlighting harmful dietary practices. Preventive practices such as regular dental checkups should be advocated and promoted in schools.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415062PMC
December 2012
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