Kazakhstan Association of Family Physicians
For the past six years, TCO has been working in partnership with the Kazakhstan Association of Family Physicians (KAFP) to implement a project aimed at increasing Atyrau Oblast communities’ and medical personnel’s awareness of arterial hypertension (AH) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and improving the professional knowledge and skills of doctors and nurses for early diagnosis and effective treatment of these diseases that are the leading causes of death in Kazakhstan.
According to these goals and the developed action plan, KAFP conducted the following activities in the reporting period.
In 2015, KAFP trained 62 Atyrau Oblast doctors in 4-day clinical training sessions on diseases associated with CVDs such as angina, dislipidemy and diabetes. In average, the knowledge level increased by ~40-45%, according to pre- and post-training tests. Training participants provided positive feedback and shared that the training met the practicing doctors’ educational needs.
In addition, KAFP continued to support participants post-training. KAFP employees made 81 visits to pilot and control organizations and consulted 150 polyclinic and ambulatory employees on a continuous basis. Within these visits KAFP also gathered data to monitor and assess external indicators – ambulance calls from AH patients and AH patient hospitalizations.
KAFP uses a 3-level approach: training medical personnel, increasing awareness of communities, and working with patients. KAFP conducted a number of effective actions including direct and online clinical training sessions built on evidence-based medicine principles for more than 600 practicing doctors and medical assistants in the city and villages; mentoring visits to city polyclinics and rural ambulatories; and monitoring and assessment of patient behavior. KAFP increases communities’ awareness through mass media (TV broadcasts about arterial hypertension), text messaging patients, distribution of printed materials and campaigns in shopping centers and other public places to measure blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and triglycerids in blood (8,000 people were tested and some of them were directed to attending doctors for further diagnosis). The last but not least important component is working with AH patients. In cooperation with polyclinics and Kutty Bilim NGO, founded with support from KAFP, the Association established a support group to teach patients how to manage their disease and about advantages of proper nutrition and physical exercise. KAFP influenced more than 200 patients to normalize their blood pressure, give up smoking and make other positive lifestyle changes.
KAFP activities with communities are divided into two parts. The first part is organization of AH schools jointly with Kutty Bilim. Three schools were opened in 2015; 62 patients visited these schools. Besides providing theoretical lectures to patients, KAFP employees took their measurements: blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar, triglycerids and body mass index. Patients were presented with tonometers to maintain target metrics of blood pressure.
The other part of community activities is organization of community campaigns about high blood pressure risk. KAFP carried out 61 campaigns in Tamasha Shopping Center and polyclinic #7 where Atyrau Medical College employees and volunteers checked the blood pressure of 3,847 people; 1,124 people turned out to have high blood pressure, 353 of them had not been aware of this. KAFP also provided selective express analyses of cholesterol, sugar and triglycerids. KAFP consulted everyone with revealed health issues and instructed them to consult doctors at the places of their residence for futher examination and treatment.
Much information about patients and their health is gathered through KAFP activities, which is necessary for defining further actions, methods and approaches. KAFP regularly maintains, updates and analyzes a database with 13,374 registered individuals.