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Clin Chem. 2007 Nov;53(11):1954-9.

Impact of a multidisciplinary intervention for diabetes in Eritrea.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

When hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing was made available to diabetic patients in the nation of Eritrea, the majority of values were markedly increased. As a result, a multidisciplinary clinical education program was instituted in Eritrea and the rate of HbA1c testing was increased to monitor progress.

METHODS:

In February 2003, a cooperative diabetes project was initiated in Eritrea to train diabetes educators, enhance physician education, create patient-teaching materials, and promote glucose monitoring. Two additional visits were made in 2003 and 2004. HbA1c values from January 2003 to November 2004 (n = 3606) were reviewed to assess diabetic control for the population and for a subset of individual patients (n = 350). A cohort of 209 diabetic persons were evaluated for demographics, treatment, and prevalence of complications.

RESULTS:

The cohort of 209 patients was 34% female and had a mean (SD) age of 50.5 (15.5) years and diabetes duration of 8.6 (6.3) years. Prevalence of hypertension was 37% and proteinuria 6%. For diabetes treatment, 59% received insulin therapy, 35% received oral agents, and 6% received nonpharmacologic treatment. HbA1c values improved significantly between the 1st 6 months of 2003 (median 10.9%) and the last 6 months of 2004 (median 8.5%; P <0.001). Individual patients in whom 2 HbA1c values were measured > or =3 months apart showed a significant mean decrease of 0.5% (P <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our experience suggests that the combination of sustainable upgraded laboratory services and training in clinical management leads to sustainable improvement in diabetes care in developing countries.

PMID:
17954497
DOI:
10.1373/clinchem.2007.095067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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