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Preparedness of lower-level health facilities and the associated factors for the outpatient primary care of hypertension: Evidence from Tanzanian national survey
Authors: Deogratius Bintabara, and Bonaventura C.T. Mpondo
Source: PLOS ONE , 13(2):e0192942; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192942
Topic(s): Health care utilization
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2018
Abstract: Introduction Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a rapid rise in the burden of non-communicable diseases in both urban and rural areas. Data on health system preparedness to manage hypertension and other non-communicable diseases remains scarce. This study aimed to assess the preparedness of lower-level health facilities for outpatient primary care of hypertension in Tanzania. Methods This study used data from the 2014–2015 Tanzania Service Provision Assessment survey. The facility was considered as prepared for the outpatient primary care of hypertension if reported at least half (=50%) of the items listed from each of the three domains (staff training and guideline, basic diagnostic equipment, and basic medicines) as identified by World Health Organization-Service Availability and Readiness Assessment manual. Data were analyzed using Stata 14. An unadjusted logistic regression model was used to assess the association between outcome and explanatory variables. All variables with a P value < 0.2 were fitted into the multiple logistic regression models using a 5% significance level. Results Out of 725 health facilities involved in the current study, about 68% were public facilities and 73% located in rural settings. Only 28% of the assessed facilities were considered prepared for the outpatient primary care of hypertension. About 9% and 42% of the assessed facilities reported to have at least one trained staff and guidelines for hypertension respectively. In multivariate analysis, private facilities [AOR = 2.7, 95% CI; 1.2–6.1], urban location [AOR = 2.2, 95% CI; 1.2–4.2], health centers [AOR = 5.2, 95% CI; 3.1–8.7] and the performance of routine management meetings [AOR = 2.6, 95% CI; 1.1–5.9] were significantly associated with preparedness for the outpatient primary care of hypertension. Conclusion The primary healthcare system in Tanzania is not adequately equipped to cope with the increasing burden of hypertension and other non-communicable diseases. Rural location, public ownership, and absence of routine management meetings were associated with being not prepared. There is a need to strengthen the primary healthcare system in Tanzania for better management of chronic diseases and curb their rising impact on health outcomes.