On 12th March 2021, Ryculture Health and Social Innovation team in collaboration with Kasarani Health Centre through the Kasarani Patient Support Group held their monthly clinic day for patients with Diabetes and Hypertension. In line with Ryculture mission to build healthy and sustainable societies the team focused on medicine use and adherence for the patient group considering poor compliance is one of the drivers for negative treatment outcomes for patients living with chronic conditions.
In order to improve medicines compliance by the patients, it was noted that the first step was to ensure patients understand why it’s of essence to comply with their medicines i.e. understanding the disease process, the mechanism of action of their medicines and associated risks of non-compliance. In line with this, it was then going to be upon the patients to take an active role and make informed decisions on how to manage their conditions with positive outcomes.
Basing on the core driver for the establishment of the patient support group and the clinic at Kasarani Health Centre was to ensure regular and consistent access to medicines by patients, one hindrance to compliance had been addressed even though there still existed constraints in guaranteeing 100% fill rate for prescriptions as envisioned with intermittent stock outs being experienced.
With plans to ensure 100% compliance, it was noted that once supply chain constraints are addressed, it would then be upon the patients to take responsibility for their wellbeing and take their medications as advised by their caregivers during the clinic days. The key factors considered during the session revolved around:
- Following the treatment plan i.e. taking the right medicines at the right time over the recommended duration of time.
- Not sharing their medicines with others.
- Adhering to their dietary restrictions based on food-medicines interactions that may be advised on by the caregiver.
- Consulting with their caregiver consistently to ensure any health concerns they have are addressed effectively and in a timely manner.
Diabetes and Hypertension are chronic medical conditions that have no cure, they can only be managed. This can only be achieved through taking the right medicine as prescribed by the doctor inorder to maintain sugar levels and blood pressure. Failure to adhere to the prescription can lead to adverse effects such as, poor disease control, complications arising from poor control or even death. Some of these are disease specific and patients need to pay attention to their disease state.
Odhiambo further engaged the patients at a personal level where he offered counselling in relation to the challenges they are facing while taking the prescribed dosage. Counselling in diabetes and hypertension care relates to changes in lifestyle, for instance, treatment regarding smoking, alcohol, weight, diet, physical activity and stress aims at reducing complications such as stroke.
The stakeholders agreed to work unanimously to drive momentous progress for the improved care for diabetes and hypertension patients. In looking into the envisioned future, the stakeholders hope to position the clinic as a center of excellence in management of diabetes and hypertension in the country in efforts to address Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) as per the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) declaration.