Limited diagnostic equipment interrupts continuum of care for non-communicable disease in South Africa
Research in two South African districts, Umgungundlovu and Pixley ka Seme, examined barriers to care as well as interruptions along the continuum of care (CoC) for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.
The findings revealed that hypertension was not only highly prevalent, but also largely undetected in both districts. Close to 50% of the population were hypertensive, and 51% of these individuals had undiagnosed disease. Poorly managed diabetes was common, particularly in Pixley ka Seme where only 9.4% had controlled disease. Individuals with hypercholesterolemia were reportedly more likely to have controlled disease once on treatment.
Transportation, wait times, and discrimination were among factors cited as barriers to care-seeking. Barriers to treatment were mainly attributed to inadequate access to blood monitoring equipment coupled with a lack of knowledge on disease monitoring. It was found that diagnostic equipment was limited across hospitals, community health centres, and public health centers. For detailed information about this research, click here.