On Thursday, 19th April 2018, Mr. Xhafer Tahiri, Mayor of Vushtrri Municipality, hosted the launch of the Primary Health Care (PHC) Service Packages (SPs) for Diabetes and Hypertension.
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a global health issue and diabetes and hypertension are known to be two of the most common NCDs that have a major impact on the quality of life for patients and their families, but both are often preventable if people know they are at risk and know that if they make small life-style changes they can reduce those risks. Such life style changes can also reduce the likelihood of long-term complications for patients who already have diabetes or hypertension.
The two SPs aim to improve the quality of care by:
The SPs are based on the World Health Organisation ‘Packages of Essential Non-Communicable Disease (PEN) Protocols,’ which have been adapted to the Kosovo context by national experts, and these are being implemented in Vushtrri, Gjakova, Mitrovica, Malisheve and Fushe Kosovo municipalities using a 2-phased approach. During Phase 1 they will be implemented in the Main Family Medicine Centres, before they are rolled-out to the remaining Family Medicine Centres during Phase 2.
During this year AQH has provided technical support to assist the national experts to develop the SPs. This has included developing and adapting all the WHO tools and providing training on how they should be used.
In addition the project has provided basic PHC equipment to ensure that each facility has the necessary equipment to deliver diabetes and hypertension services according to the standards in view WHO PEN Protocols for low and middle resource setting countries. As well as providing this equipment for the facilities where SPs will be implemented, the project has also provided the same equipment for all other facilities in the 12 municipalities supported by the project so that they will already have the equipment when SPs are rolled-out in the future. The total investment for this equipment is 405,000 Euro.
12 national experts from PHC and National Institute of Public Health have been trained as ‘Trainer of Trainers’ on the best ways to provide health education using motivational counselling techniques, and training materials have been developed that can be used for future rounds of training.
The project has refurbished and equipped Health Resource Centres where staff can provide health education sessions, either for one-to-one or group sessions. These Centres have been established in all 12 municipalities, and not just the 5 municipalities where SPs will be implemented. As well as using the Centres for providing health education on diabetes and hypertension, staff can use them for any PHC health education activities in the municipalities.