The project is developing a comprehensive community-based screening program for diabetes, hypertension and other preventable and manageable health issues, modifying lifestyle and behaviors at individual, family and community levels that help in reducing the incidence of diabetes, hypertension and their complications, and promoting public awareness through media, literature materials, churches and established organizations.
The project's goal is to organize at least two health clinics in Kenya every year.
The teams are composed of Kenyans on holiday as well as other nationalities vacationing in Kenya who donate one week of their vacation as well as resources to give back to the community.
Thus far, teams have screened over 250 individuals, visited and assessed capacity for cardiovascular risk reduction in three hospitals and three rural clinics. Before screening they presented a risk factor educational program in the local language (Kikuyu) where participants are registered by native speaking volunteers and screened for blood pressure and random blood sugar by the UMB/Kenya team. Following screening, the nurse practitioners met patients to review the screening results, assess medication efficacy and identify individuals for follow-up. The majority of individuals were not aware of their diagnosis or how to reduce cardiovascular risk.
It is apparent that people have misconceptions about their health; one common misconception was that diabetes is a disease of the rich. The results of the screening were analyzed and it was found that there was a high prevalence of cardiovascular/metabolic risk factors.
The next step is to expand partnership with Kenyan nurses and to develop a feasible, culturally appropriate, sustainable risk reduction program that will improve the cardiovascular health of Kenyans.