Written by Ngeh Nadege
Edited by Njoka Divine
The World Diabetes Foundation has supported the CBC Health Services to strengthen diagnosis, management and surveillance of diabetes and hypertension in her facilities. This has led to the reinforcement of 10 diabetes clinics and their transition from just Diabetic Clinics to Diabetes and Hypertension (D&H) Clinics.
WHY says non communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes and hypertension have emerged as a major global health concern due to the fact that they are usually of long duration and progress at a very slow rate, but with very fatal consequences.
To improve on data collection and reporting on care and treatment of persons with diabetes and hypertension, the CBC Health Services with support from the World Diabetes Foundation is piloting an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system with an integrated NCD registry in three CBC Health Services hospitals. This initiative also aims at improving the quality of services in the Clinics so as to further improve on care which these patients badly need.
The project involves strengthening 10 former Diabetic Clinics by providing diagnostic equipment and training 20 diabetes educators. Even though more is still to be done, the project has greatly changed the approach to care to a more intentional and well-structured one. The 10 Diabetes and Hypertension Clinics are currently following up 1,005 regular patients with the number of patients increasing every day. There is more work to be done!
These Diabetic Clinics have been attending mostly to persons living with diabetes up until June 2018 when the need to include hypertension was identified as the influx of patients joining the clinics continue to increase across the 10 strengthened facilities.
Rose Nsah, Diabetes and Hypertension Unit Head at the Nkwen Baptist Health Centre, Bamenda, emphasizes the tremendous importance of this change saying, “In most cases, we have observed at the Clinics that diabetic patients are likely to develop hypertension and vice versa. The upgrade from a Diabetes Clinic to Diabetes and Hypertension Clinic is a wonderful opportunity to keep a handier watch on the blood pressure of our patients, properly educate, manage and care for patients living with hypertension and diabetes in Cameroon.”
“Due to the heavy attendance at the Nkwen Baptist Health Center, our clinic days have been split into two groups; every second and last Wednesday of the month,” she adds.
Moses Mukom is one of the beneficiaries of the Mbingo Baptist Hospital Diabetes and Hypertension clinical services. “If not for this Clinic I would have died, I really thank God for this diabetes and hypertension management clinic. Before I started attending this Clinic, my BP was at 400, but presently it has dropped to 120/80,” explains the visibly relieved Moses.
The CBC Health Services looks forward to advancing these Clinics particularly in implementing a very strong support group and education system in the nearest future.