In April, NCD Synergies was privileged to host colleagues from the Division of Non Communicable Diseases (DNCD) in the Kenya Ministry of Health, capping off 18 months of exciting collaboration. In attendance was, Dr. Joseph Kibachio, Head of DNCD; Dr. Gladwell Gathecha, Deputy Head of DNCD; and Dr. Jutta Jorgensen, seconded technical advisor for Partners In Health. The delegation joined NCD Synergies for several days of presentations and discussions primarily centered around sharing the results of a Medtronic Philanthropy grant which supported a review and proposed revision of national noncommunicable disease and injury (NCDI) metrics.
The team’s work was featured in a panel on Sunday, April 17, at the Unite for Sight: Global Health and Innovation Conference hosted by Yale University. The delegation presented the team’s country-led process to define NCDI indicators to better assess access to care, equity of care, and measure the true burden of NCDIs in Kenya. These metrics were defined to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the NCD burden in Kenya to measure equity and access to NCDI care in Kenya.
Dr. Kibachio presented NCDs and Kenya: An Overview of the National Burden and Response, and stepped in to share Dr. Frank Odhiamo’s presentation, Estimating Regional NCD Burden in Siaya, Kenya, Using Mortality Data, as Dr. Odhiambo was unable to attend. While, presenting on the Kenyan NCDI profile, Dr. Kibachio shared preliminary results of Kenya’s newly launched STEPS Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factor Survey, one of the first STEPS that was thoroughly disaggregated by multiple factors. Dr. Odhiambo’s research on the Siaya County NCD burden as seen through verbal autopsies initiated a thorough discussion around the benefits and limitations of that method in different disease categories.
Dr. Jorgenson presented Innovation in Partnership: Bringing a PIH Perspective to Kenya’s NCD Data Challenge. Dr. Jorgenson showcased the partnership between PIH and the DNCD, and discussed the country-led process that resulted in a 12-person working group which successfully defined of NCD indicators. Dr. Gathecha shared the final list of metrics with her presentation, Kenya’s NCD Indicators and Targets: Looking Forward. She explained the rationale behind each of the 41 indicators suggested by the working group to measure NCDI coverage in the Kenya.
In addition to the conference session, the NCD Synergies team hosted the visiting experts at Harvard for discussions on future collaborations and at Partners In Health’s first office-wide NCD Day. The event at PIH was attended by PIH staff and guests including colleagues from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Gene Bukhman, NCD Synergies Director, and Dr. Gene Kwan, Health and Policy Advisor for NCDs at PIH. Dr. Gathecha and Dr. Jorgensen shared their presentations with the group, and discussed the collaboration between PIH and the Kenya MOH.
PIH’s Dr. Paul Park, current Director of NCDs in Rwanda, also spoke, sharing The Burden of Disease as a Driver of Integrated NCD Accompaniment. Dr. Park discussed his work in Rwanda and goals for the integration and expansion of NCD services in Rwanda’s health system and beyond.
NCD Synergies thanks all who were involved in this busy and productive weekend, particularly Dr. Kibachio, Dr. Gathecha, and Dr. Jorgensen for sharing their time and presentations with colleagues in Boston and New Haven.