Gaps in Capacity in Primary Care in Low-Resource Settings for Implementation of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions

International Journal of Hypertension,Volume 2012
S.Mendis et al


Objective. The objective was to evaluate the capacity of primary care (PC) facilities to implement basic interventions for prevention and management of major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Methods. A cross sectional survey was done in eight low- and middle-income countries (Benin, Bhutan, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname,Syria, and Vietnam) in 90 PC facilities randomly selected. The survey included questions on the availability of human resources,equipment, infrastructure, medicines, utilization of services, financing, medical information, and referral systems.

Results and Conclusions. Major deficits were identified in health financing, access to basic technologies and medicines, medical information systems, and the health workforce. The study has provided the foundation for strengthening PC to address noncommunicable diseases. There are important implications of the findings of this study for all low- and middle-income countries as capacity of PC is fundamental for equitable prevention and control of NCDs.