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Clinical Audit on the Provision of Diabetes Care in the Primary Care Setting by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

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DOI: 10.4236/jdm.2015.51002    2,939 Downloads   3,640 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provides primary health care services including care for diabetes and hypertension, with limited resources under difficult circumstances in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. A total of 114,911 people with diabetes were registered with UNRWA health centres in 2011. The aim of this cross-sectional observational study was to assess the quality of diabetes care in the UNRWA primary health care centres. METHOD: The study population consisted of 1600 people with diabetes attending the 32 largest UNRWA health centres and treated there for at least one year. Between April and Sept. 2012 data from medical records, including results of clinical examinations and laboratory tests performed during the last one year, current management including self-care education and evidence of diabetes complications were collected and recorded in a previously validated data collection form (DCF). Patients were interviewed and clinically examined on the day of the audit and blood collected for HbA1c testing which was done at a central lab using High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method (HLC®-723G8 Tosoh Corporation, Japan). Data was transferred from paper records into a computer and analysed with Epi-info 2000. RESULTS: Type 1 diabetes was present in 4.3% and type 2 diabetes in 95.7%. Co-morbid hypertension was present in 68.5%; 90.3% were either obese (64.0%) or overweight (26.3%). Clinical management of diabetes was largely in line with UNRWA’s technical instructions (TI) for diabetes. Records for 2 hour postprandial glucose (2 h PPG), serum cholesterol, serum creatinine, and urine protein analysis were available in 94.7%, 96.4%, 91.4% and 87.5%, cases, respectively. Records of annual fundoscopic eye examination were available in 47.3% cases but foot examinations were less well documented. Most patients (95.6%) were on anti-diabetic drugs—68.2% oral anti diabetic drugs (OAD) only, 14.4% combination of OAD and insulin, and 12.9% insulin only. While 44.8% patients had 2 h PPG ≤ 180 mg/dl, only 28.2% had HbA1c ≤ 7%; 55.5% and 28.2% had BP ≤ 140/90 and ≤130/80 mm of Hg respectively. Serum cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dl, serum creatinine ≥ 1.2 mg/dl and macro albuminuria were noted in 39.8%, 6.4% and 10.3% cases respectively. Peripheral neuropathy (52.6%), foot infections (17%), diabetic retinopathy (11%) and myocardial infarction (9.6%) were the most common long term complications. One or more episodes of hypoglycaemia were reported by 25% cases in total and in 48% of those using insulin. 17.7% and 22.6% cases received no or ≥4 self-care education sessions respectively. CONCLUSION: The study confirmed that UNRWA doctors and nurses follow TI for diabetes and hypertension fairly well. Financial constraints and the consequent effects on UNRWA TI and policies related to diabetes care were important constraints. Key challenges identified were: reliance on 2 h PPG to measure control; non-availability of routine HbA1c testing, self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) and statins within the UNRWA system; and high levels of obesity in the community. Addressing these will further strengthen UNRWA health system’s efforts of providing services for diabetes and hypertension at the primary care level. Given that most developing countries either have no or only rudimentary services for diabetes and hypertension at the primary care level, UNRWAs efforts can serve as an inspiration to others.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Shahin, Y. , Kapur, A. , Khader, A. , Zeidan, W. , Harries, A. , Nerup, J. and Seita, A. (2015) Clinical Audit on the Provision of Diabetes Care in the Primary Care Setting by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Journal of Diabetes Mellitus, 5, 12-20. doi: 10.4236/jdm.2015.51002.

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