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Engaging the Entire Care Cascade in Western Kenya: A Model to Achieve the Cardiovascular Disease Secondary Prevention Roadmap Goals

Authors:

Rajesh Vedanthan ,

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, US
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Jemima H. Kamano,

Moi University College of Health Sciences, Eldoret; Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, Eldoret, KE
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Gerald S. Bloomfield,

Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Clinical Research Institute, and Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, US
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Imran Manji,

Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, Eldoret, KE
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Sonak Pastakia,

Moi University College of Health Sciences, Eldoret; Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, Eldoret, KE; Department of Pharmacy Practice, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Indianapolis, IN, US
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Sylvester N. Kimaiyo

Moi University College of Health Sciences, Eldoret; Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, Eldoret, KE
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Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the world, with a substantial health and economic burden confronted by low- and middle-income countries. In low-income countries such as Kenya, there exists a double burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, and the CVD profile includes many nonatherosclerotic entities. Socio-politico-economic realities present challenges to CVD prevention in Kenya, including poverty, low national spending on health, significant out-of-pocket health expenditures, and limited outpatient health insurance. In addition, the health infrastructure is characterized by insufficient human resources for health, medication stock-outs, and lack of facilities and equipment. Within this socio-politico-economic reality, contextually appropriate programs for CVD prevention need to be developed. We describe our experience from western Kenya, where we have engaged the entire care cascade across all levels of the health system, in order to improve access to high-quality, comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable care for CVD and CVD risk factors. We report on several initiatives: 1) population-wide screening for hypertension and diabetes; 2) engagement of community resources and governance structures; 3) geographic decentralization of care services; 4) task redistribution to more efficiently use of available human resources for health; 5) ensuring a consistent supply of essential medicines; 6) improving physical infrastructure of rural health facilities; 7) developing an integrated health record; and 8) mobile health (mHealth) initiatives to provide clinical decision support and record-keeping functions. Although several challenges remain, there currently exists a critical window of opportunity to establish systems of care and prevention that can alter the trajectory of CVD in low-resource settings.

Highlights

  • There are several socio-politico-economic realities that present challenges to CVD prevention in low-income countries such as Kenya.
  • The epidemiologic and socio-politico-economic realities need to be taken into account when developing contextually appropriate programs for CVD prevention.
  • Engaging the entire care cascade across all levels of the health system can yield high-quality, comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable care for CVD and CVD risk factors.
  • Elements of engagement of the care cascade include: 1) population-wide screening for hypertension and diabetes; 2) engagement of community resources and governance structures; 3) geographic decentralization of care services; 4) task redistribution to allow for more efficient use of available human resources for health; 5) ensuring a consistent supply of essential medicines; 6) improving physical infrastructure of rural health facilities; 7) developing an integrated health record across all levels of the health system; and 8) targeted, strategic use of mHealth initiatives to provide clinical decision support and record-keeping functions for rural clinicians.
How to Cite: Vedanthan R, Kamano JH, Bloomfield GS, Manji I, Pastakia S, Kimaiyo SN. Engaging the Entire Care Cascade in Western Kenya: A Model to Achieve the Cardiovascular Disease Secondary Prevention Roadmap Goals. Global Heart. 2015;10(4):313–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2015.09.003
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Published on 01 Dec 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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