QI Story: A Doctor’s Heroic Journey of Revamping Primary Healthcare for Hypertensive and Diabetic Patients

Improving Primary Health care for Hypertensive and Diabetic patients in Nyandarua County from July 2022 to December 2022

Author: Dr Aisha Mohamed Mwatuwano

In the frontline of healthcare, heroes sometimes wear white coats and stethoscopes instead of capes. Dr Aisha Mohamed Mwatuwano is one such hero who dedicated her time and expertise to uplift the lives of countless individuals in Nyandarua County. Her mission is to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and improve primary healthcare for hypertensive and diabetic patients. This tale is a testament to the power of one person’s determination to bring about transformative change.

“My journey started back in 2022 July. I realized [that] in our outpatient medical clinic we would see around 70 patients. That was really exhausting,” Dr Aisha says. “There was also a rise in patients having complications of diabetes and hypertension,” she added.

NCDs loom as a global threat, causing premature deaths on an alarming scale. Kenya, like many nations, is grappling with the heavy economic toll of NCDs. These diseases don’t just afflict the health of individuals; they strike at the heart of households, depleting income and pushing families into the vicious cycle of poverty.

For Dr Aisha, the journey was a quest to understand the multifaceted factors impacting the health of Nyandarua’s population. Her mission as a Family Physician was to delve into the socio-psychological, economic, historical, geographical, cultural, and environmental dimensions that influenced the health of the community. By comprehending the challenges presented by individuals, families, groups, and the community as a whole, she aimed to design solutions that would pave the way for a brighter, healthier future.

The Magnificent Objectives

The quest was simple in essence but monumental in impact: to improve primary healthcare for hypertensive and diabetic patients in Nyandarua County from July to December 2022.

Her toolbox was a blend of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. Through increased hospital admissions, patient interviews, and meticulous record examination, Dr Aisha set the stage for a profound transformation.

Elevating Healthcare in Nyandarua

The interventions rolled out over six months across nine healthcare facilities illuminated a path to better health. Driven by unwavering commitment, the interventions included:

  1. Health education at every visit.
  2. Blood sugar measurement, blood pressure monitoring, and calculation of body mass index during each visit.
  3. Provision of screening tools for hypertension and diabetes complications.
  4. Enhanced drug availability at the facilities.
  5. Improved record keeping for patients.
  6. Facilitation of blood sample transportation to main health facilities without functional laboratories.
  7. Implementation of different clinic days, ensuring that each facility received dedicated care.
  8. Capacity building for healthcare staff.

Triumphant Results

Dr Aisha’s tireless efforts brought about incredible results. A total of 1,691 patients, comprising 369 male adults, 1,267 female adults, 19 children, and 47 home visits, were conducted from July to December 2022 across nine healthcare facilities. Patient care saw remarkable improvements, with 99% adherence to health education, 95% compliance with clinic appointments, 60% improvement in drug availability, 99% enhancement in triage, and 40% utilization of screening tools. Even with transportation challenges impacting her availability, Dr Aisha’s commitment remained unshaken. Patient record-keeping improved by 80%, and staff capacity building advanced by 40%.

A Vision of Inclusivity

Dr Aisha’s journey echoes the national vision of “leaving no one behind“. The heart of this vision lies in the creation of a comprehensive primary healthcare system that supports universal health coverage (UHC). The people of Nyandarua deserve efficient, effective healthcare providers with the technical know-how and organizational prowess required to manage healthcare resources. Dr Aisha’s story embodies the dedication and resilience needed to create a brighter, healthier future for all.

Watch the inspiring journey in the video below:

Read More about the QI story below:

This is part of the storytelling contest submission for World Patient Safety Month. Read more here

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