HEALTH EDUCATION ON STRESS MANAGEMENT TO DIABETIC AND HYPERTENSIVE PATIENTS AT THE NCDs CLINIC AT KASARANI HEALTH CENTRE – 13th November 2020.

Authors: Ms. Veronica Njambi |For correspondence: veronjambik@gmail.com

On 13th November 2020, the second clinic day for patients living with diabetes and hypertension was convened at Kasarani Health Center. This was following an earlier engagement between Ryculture Health and Social Innovation, PharmAccess Foundation and Kasarani Health Center aimed at improving access to care for patients suffering from Non Communicable Diseases especially diabetes and hypertension. Other than having clinic days for clinical case management, the patients had requested to have health education sessions integrated to their care with a request that they be enlightened on how to manage stress.

Dr Veronica Njambi facilitating the session on Stress Management

Ryculture Health and Social Innovation was represented by Dr Veronica Njambi, a pharmacist who educated the patients on stress management. The discussion focused on making the patients acknowledge and understand stress, the causes of stress including uncertainties such as the current global pandemic with evidence pointing at higher risk of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes etc., failure to access routine care among others, and how to manage stress. In stress management, focus was put on the 4A’s of stress management i.e.

  1. Avoidance of stressful circumstances
  2. Altering our circumstances or our response to these circumstances that may be stressful
  • Accepting stress as a part of life
  1. Adapting to stress and living with it as a component & feature of our daily existence so that we find ways to cope with it.

It was outlined that suffering from stress especially for this category of patients is of detriment to their overall wellbeing. They were encouraged to adopt healthy living and measures to help cope with stressful circumstances in order to sustain their disease control i.e. sugar levels and blood pressure. Stress by itself can compromise their treatment outcomes and therefore it’s encouraged that they take care of themselves better by adopting some of the strategies suggested.

Patients asked questions on varied matters ranging from stressful situations at home to their care as a contributing factor which were responded to and coping mechanisms agreed upon by each and every person to adopt whichever works best for them.

There were approximately 30 patients for the clinic day who were further engaged in discussions on how to establish a support group that would be expected to serve as a vehicle in procuring their medication under the arrangement at the facility. Members were urged to proactively engage for their care and urge others who may be lagging behind to forge ahead as we strive to attain good health.

Through such partnerships, Ryculture intends to engage with stakeholders to improve access to quality healthcare services and optimize care for patients by supporting their overall wellbeing. In partnering with Kasarani Health Center and PharmAccess Foundation, we hope to establish a model of best practice in NCDs management that can be scaled up nationwide for positive treatment outcomes for all diabetic and hypertensive patients.