By Sothy Ung, Communication Officer at the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH)
According to the preliminary result of the recent household survey conducted by the SCUBY team in Cambodia, Type-2 Diabetes (T2D) and Hypertension (HT) cases are on the rise. However, low diagnosis rate and lack of screening in the local context show that only 50% of T2D patients were aware of their status and only 10% of them had their average blood sugar level or glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) under control. For HT patients, although the diagnosis rate was high at 89%, the blood pressure under-control rate was as low as 44%. Addressing these issues requires policies supported by concrete evidence.
Consultative meeting Online with stakeholders on NCD in Cambodia. Left: Prof. Chhorvann Chhea, Right: All participants
Since the start of the SCUBY project, National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) along with the Department of Preventive Medicine (DPM) of the Ministry of Health, analyzed several existing care initiatives for people living with T2D and HT in Cambodia. Key stakeholders were invited to a consultative meeting to present key findings on current care initiatives and possibly incorporate those inside a developing roadmap. Representatives of the institutions invited ranged from the Ministry of Health, NIPH, Preah Kossamak Hospital, Louvain Cooperation, Health and Social Development Cambodia (HSD), MoPoTsyo NGO and KHANA Center for Population Health Research. With this in mind, H.E. Prof. Chhorvann Chhea, director of NIPH, launched the meeting by furthering the concept that current care initiatives must be focused on delivering quality services. All evidence gathered and research outputs would then be compiled into creating a policy brief to be continuously developed. On this backdrop, Assoc. Prof. Por Ir introduced the wide variety of interventions currently used to care for T2D and HT patients and analyzed those interventions in terms of ICP scores, behavioral attitude, care quality, monitoring and screening among others.
To provide for such T2D and HT care, several projects were launched and their outcome were highlighted by their respective stakeholders. Difficulties that occurred in those projects include leadership commitment on a provincial level, medicine price and supply, lack of cooperation at operational level, lack of field supervision from the Ministry of Health, and limited capacity at health facilities. While the stakeholders had divergent views on certain topics such as medicine pricing; together, they agreed that this decision should be forwarded to the sub-national committee for NCDs to discuss. Thus, developing a roadmap which answers to these issues is an important step towards a more sustainable and more effective solution to NCD care. This roadmap would be supported by additional studies to be done in the context of medicine price and market research and on improving a digital database platform for health information system, DIGITAL HEALTH.
Cambodia SCUBY members attending the meeting on their respective computers. Left to right: Sokunthea Yem, Savina Chham, Sereyraksmey Long
This consultative meeting has demonstrated once again the value of partnering with different stakeholders to provide for patients in different situations. In order to properly care for T2D and HT patients, it is necessary to involve and take into account technologies such as a working database which could be accessed by both public and private sectors and also a better advocacy to support the needs of the people living with T2D and HT.