Mwanga Access project completes 18, 000 diabetes screening in 2yrs

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At least 18,000 people in Meru County have undergone Diabetese screening since November 2022 Mwanga Access project.

The program, an intervention by a consortium of stakeholders in the area health sector has also seen over 200 individuals undergo training on the management of the disease.

The program stakeholders; Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance Kenya (NCD Alliance Kenya), ROCHE Diabetes Care, Medtronic LABS, and the Meru County government notes the program has had a huge impact through its advocacy on the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD).

We aim to reach 35,000 individuals to successfully bring theme under the umbrella of preventive and early intervention measures by December 2024

Pedro Gonclaves, Head of Roche Diabetes Care

The consortium says the program has built a robust and sustainable support network of 60 healthcare professionals trained on comprehensive diabetes care, and 20 health records and information officers trained on data capturing and presentation.

“We aim to reach 35,000 individuals to successfully bring theme under the umbrella of preventive and early intervention measures by December 2024,” said Pedro Gonclaves, Head of Roche Diabetes Care.

He noted that the project has greatly expanded access to early detection and care for Diabetes.

According to reports from the project, at least 106 Community Health Promoters (CHPs) have been trained on basic screening, patient enrollment, follow-up and referral to the link facilities, with another 22 people living with diabetes and hypertension capacity built on advocacy and public participation skills.

World Health Organization (WHO) reports that early screening of Diabetes helps reduce the risks of complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation

Alarming Diabetes prevalence

According to Roche, the program was initiated due to an alarming prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes among adults aged between 20 and 79 which accounts for four and 15.1 percent, respectively in Kenya.

The report indicate that an estimated 5, 300 children and adolescents are living with Type 1 diabetes in the country.

“We have enrolled 1, 475 patients in our care program, with 539 confirmed as diabetic out of the 18,000 screened. Through our robust digital tracking mechanism, we have achieved an impressive 46.1 percent follow-up rate and a 51.9 percent glycemic control rate for those found to have diabetes,’’ noted Gonclaves.

He said the program will continue to provide diabetes screening and monitoring equipment and reagents to health facilities, support groups, and community health workers.  

Roche Diabetes Care, he revealed has laid emphasis on partnering with the local community in co-creating sustainable solutions to address the healthcare needs of the countries they operate in.

This, he noted, has been achieved by focusing on creating a holistic care community empowerment program to enable improved outcomes and continued support.

Graphic representation of Diabetes screening points . (Courtesy: KHEMA Health and Welness Centre)

Catherine Karekezi, NCD Alliance Kenya Executive Director affirmed that the program exemplifies an innovative public-private partnership designed to address the gaps in diabetes management in Meru County.

“The program’s success highlights the importance of early detection, accessible care, and ongoing support for persons living with diabetes. We commend the commitment of all stakeholders in making this program a success and look forward to further expanding its reach and impact,” she observed.

The program, Karekezi noted, establishes support groups of persons living with diabetes and hypertension in the five linked facilities. They receive diabetes self-management education, group counseling and self-care management education. 

Eric Angula, Head of Business Development and Partnerships Lead Africa at Medtronic LABS added that  the collaboration and dedication of all partners involved in the Mwanga Access Program have been instrumental in its success.

“The integration of digital infrastructure has enabled a robust enrollment and tracking of patients leading to the achievement of an impressive follow-up rate and glycemic control rate, demonstrating the program’s effectiveness in ensuring continuous patient engagement and improved health outcomes,’’ said Angula.

He said the Mwanga Access Program’s dedication to tackling diabetes in Meru County serves as a powerful testament to the potential of collaborative efforts in improving public health outcomes.

For over four decades Roche Diabetes Care has been pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target ranges.

In 2017, the organization developed one of  the most popular diabetes management apps christened ‘MySugr’ to help in addressing diabetic-related issues. It continues to collaborate with thought leaders around the globe, including people with diabetes, caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to transform and advance care provision and foster sustainable care structures.

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