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Two in-depth studies carried out in Kwara State. One on cardiovascular care and one on mother and child health

Feb 22, 2012

The two topics are high on the agenda of the World Health Organization and the United Nations.

Two in-depth studies on cardiovascular disease prevention care and on mother and child health in the context of the insurance program are being conducted in Kwara State. These studies are part of the operational research program of the Health Insurance Fund. The two topics are high on the agenda of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations. The project “Quality Improvement Cardiovascular Care Kwara” (QUICK) assesses the feasibility of cardiovascular prevention care within the Health Insurance Fund program whereas the Mother and Child Health Study (MACHS) measures the impact of the program on mother and child health.These researches are conducted by the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) and funded by the Health Insurance Fund (HIF).

The WHO estimates that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Over 80% of these deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. In a recent historical meeting of the United Nations non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, were addressed and given high-priority. Reducing child mortality to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 has been a high priority for many years. Although progress has been made, the WHO concludes that this unequally distributed across regions and countries. Over 70 percent of the world’s under-five deaths in 2010 occurred in only 15 countries, amongst which Nigeria.

Within the Hygeia Community Health Care (HCHC) program there is a high prevalence of CVD, in particular hypertension. QUICK-I is an observational, hospital based study that aims to assess the feasibility of cardiovascular prevention care according to international guidelines for patients at risk for the development of CVD. For QUICK-I a cohort of 349 patients is studied, primarily with hypertension, who attend Ogo Oluwa Hospital (Kwara State, Nigeria) and who are enrolled in the insurance program. The patients are followed for one year to determine if the risk for CVD is reduced as a result of the prevention program. Secondly, QUICK-I aims to understand what an effective prevention program would cost in a community health insurance setting. This is crucial information to model the future costs for clinics and insurance companies and to gain insight in the sustainability of a community health insurance program.

The results of the QUICK studies could be used by policy makers and professionals who for example aim to implement CVD prevention in settings with limited resources. MACHS is an extensive research program to measure the impact of the Hygeia Community Health Care program on mother and child health in Kwara State. As of March 2011 a total of 1,169 children under the age of five and over 200 pregnant women have been included in the study. The children and women are visited by trained nurses at set times to measure their health status.

Both programs will run until the end of 2012 after which data will be analyzed and the results will be published in international peer-reviewed journals.



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