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Title: Developing self-sustainable models of care for non-communicable diseases in Kenya
Author: Pastakia, Sonak D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 587X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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Background (Kenya) Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is in the midst of experiencing an unprecedented increase in non-communicable diseases (NCD), specifically diabetes and hypertension. This shift has required public sector health systems, which have historically focused on managing acute diseases, to redesign their services to appropriately serve chronic disease needs. Issue Addressed In order to provide a description of our efforts to bring up comprehensive services for NCDs in rural Kenya within this thesis, I have specifically selected publications which target different aspects of the healthcare system. This includes our efforts related to clinical training for pharmacists, screening for NCDs, medication supply chains, remote phone-based care services, and care delivery based in the community. Prior to the implementation of the programs mentioned in these domains, access to these services was largely not available in western Kenya. Furthermore, the publication of our research from this western Kenyan cohort is designed to supplant the relatively limited research which emanates from rural sub-Saharan Africa. Research Questions For each of these selected publications, we defined a set of primary and, in some cases, secondary research questions focused on identifying the contextualized attributes of service delivery in this setting while also assessing the impact. For the first publication on training for clinical pharmacists, we assessed the impact of Kenyan Bachelor of Pharmacy interns and North American Doctor of Pharmacy interns while providing clinical care in an inpatient setting in Kenya. Our primary research question assessed whether there was a significant difference in the number of clinical interventions documented by interns from the two countries. In the second paper, we shifted our focus to outpatient care and wanted to address the uptake of different strategies of screening for diabetes and hypertension. Our primary research question assessed whether there were any significant differences in follow-up at the public sector clinic after screening positive via home-based screening (community health volunteer provides screening at your home) versus community-based screening (a community wide event is established where people voluntarily show up to receive screening) in a rural setting. In the third paper, we sought to continue to improve aspects of outpatient care by describing our model for improving access to medications. Our primary research question focused on descriptively assessing the change in availability of essential medications before and after implementation of this model. In the fourth paper, we described and assessed our model for providing intensive diabetes follow-up remotely. Our primary research question focused on whether patients experienced statistically significant improvements in blood glucose control after participating in this service for six months. In the fifth paper, we brought together various elements of our prior activities to design and evaluate the community-based model of care called BIGPIC - Bridging Income Generation through grouP Integrated Care. The primary research question for this investigation was to identify the frequency with which patients who screened positive for diabetes or hypertension linked to care. Secondary research questions compared the linkage frequency observed with this model compared to a historical control, along with a descriptive assessment of the loss to follow up, and an assessment of whether this model led to statistically significant reductions in blood pressure after 1 year of implementation. Short Summary of the Individual Papers with Results Linking Them Together Within our assessment of pharmacy training, we found that the Kenyan pharmacy interns provided statistically significantly more clinical interventions per day than their North American counterparts. This result highlighted the potential for Kenyan pharmacy providers to provide clinical services which were largely unavailable in western Kenya prior to this research. Despite the lack of the clinically focused Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum in Kenya, Kenyan pharmacy interns within the Bachelors in Pharmacy program were able to make an average of 16.7 consultations per day with the medical team compared to 12.0 per day for the North Americans. In the second paper we shifted our focus to the outpatient setting and were surprised to find that there weren’t any statistically significant differences in follow-up between home-based versus community-based screening for NCDs. This highlighted the reluctance of rural patients to travel to public sector facilities for care regardless of the screening method utilized. This realization led us to simultaneously focus on improving the reliability of services available in public sector while also trying to implement solutions to facilitate the provision of remote services for care. Within our efforts to improve medication access in paper 3, we were able to demonstrate how our revolving fund pharmacy model was able to improve access to medications from < 40% to > 90%. In paper 4, we were able to implement a self-monitored blood glucose program and demonstrate a dramatic improvement in the blood sugars of patients enrolled in the self-monitored blood glucose program with a statistically significant 31.6% absolute decline in HbA1c. The culmination of these efforts and learnings is described in paper 5, where we implemented the BIGPIC care delivery model which resulted in a statistically significant improvement in linkage to care for screened patients, a retention in care frequency of 70.3%, and a statistically significant mean decline in the systolic blood pressure of 21mmHg (95% CI 13.9-28.4, P < 0.01).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine