The global prevalence of all leading chronic non-communicable diseases is increasing, with the majority occurring in developing countries and projected to increase substantially over the next two decades. PS Kenya implemented 24 months of a private sector model in AstraZeneca’s HHA project that sought to improve knowledge and awareness of hypertension, enhance the competence of those offering hypertension services, and increase access to affordable and quality antihypertensive medications. This project was implemented through the Tunza Family Health Network, a social franchise of private providers who offer primary health care services and serve the low-income population.
The program is targeted to Kioko, who represent the at-risk population. Kioko is a male aged 30 years and above who lives in a high population settlement in Nairobi or its outskirts. He is married with two children and is employed in a local school. Kioko indulges in social activities like “nyama choma” and social drinking, making him at risk of hypertension. He fears losing his job, and health is not a top priority until a family member gets sick, and he usually visits a chemist to get drugs. Kioko has very poor health-seeking behavior compared to his female counterpart. The program also sought to reach males and females equally.
It took a long time for a patient to acknowledge and actively manage their condition on their own, even after discovery. This was influenced by the asymptomatic nature of the disease and health not being a key priority. Kenyans were faced with other front-of-mind challenges, such as feeding their family and paying school fees.
Private sector learning. There is need for:
There is no cure for hypertension. Treatment can start with lifestyle modification and progress through different medicine offerings. Until a patient is fully aware and understands the need to proactively manage their condition, they are unlikely to turn up to the clinic without prompting.
Following the development of the Ministry of Health (MOH) Hypertension protocol, sites may experience shortages of medicines, which can interfere with the management of hypertension, even though patients can afford them.