Assessment of primary care facilities for cardiovascular disease preparedness in Madhya Pradesh, India
Abhijit Pakhare et al, BMC Health Services Research 2015
Government of India has launched National Program for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) to address high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) constitute a significant portion of NCD burden. While this program is yet to be launched in all districts of Madhya Pradesh state of India, we performed this study to understand facility-level gaps that need to be addressed to improve CVD services in primary care provided by the public sector.
This is a cross-sectional questionnaire based study. A standardized questionnaire was self-administered to 85 medical officers from as many primary care facilities from 24 districts of the state. These medical officers were working in two types of primary care facilities – primary health center (PHC) and community health centers (CHC). Facilities were assessed for 36 items in 5 domains (human-resource, equipment, drug supplies, point-of-care tests and laboratory services) with a focus on management of hypertension and diabetes mellitus in primary-care. Each item was to be answered as either present or absent at the facility where medical officer was working. We compared availability of an item across two levels of primary care facilities. All statistical analysis were done using Microsoft Excel.
Availability of facilities was least in laboratory services, and human resource domains followed by drugs, and better in equipment and point-of-care supply domains. Across these domains, availability of items in CHCs was (37.1, 49.0, 56.1, 67.9 and 80.9 % respectively) and in PHCs (11.8, 18.2, 44.2, 55.1, and 55.3 % respectively).
Current facility assessment study shows critical gaps in key items required for management of NCDs at primary care level. Human resource and laboratory services need to be strengthened the most, followed by sustained availability of all required drug classes, equipment and related supplies, and upgrading point-of-care testing. There are larger gaps in PHCs, which are level 1 facilities, as compared to CHCs, which are level 2 facilities in primary-care.
Increasing burden of NCDs like hypertension and diabetes mellitus necessitates public health response through health systems. Therefore health system preparedness in form of trained human resources, functional laboratories and well stocked pharmacy.