To assess the feasibility of providing guideline-based cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention care within the context of a community-based health insurance program (CBHI) in rural Nigeria.
A prospective operational cohort study was conducted in a primary healthcare clinic in rural Nigeria, participating in a CBHI program. The insurance program provided access to care and improved the quality of the clinics participating in the program, including CVD prevention guideline implementation. Insured adults at risk of CVD were consecutively included upon clinic attendance. The primary outcome was quality of care determined by scoring of quality indicators on patient files of the cohort, 1.5 year after guideline implementation.
Of the 368 screened patients, 349 were included and 323 (93%) completed 1 year of follow-up. The majority of patients (331, 95%) had hypertension. Process indicators showed that 114/115 (99%) new hypertension cases had a record of CVD risk assessment and 249/333 (75%) eligible cases a record of lifestyle advice. Outcome indicators showed that in 292/328 (64%) hypertension cases, blood pressure was on target. Barriers to care included limited human resources, limited affordability of diagnostic tests and multidrug regimes for the healthcare provider, frequent doctor's appointments, and inefficient drug supplies.
Implementation of CVD prevention care within the context of a CBHI program resulted in high-quality care in rural sub-Saharan Africa, comparable to high-income countries. However, guideline implementation was resource-intense and specific recommendations were not feasible. Simple models of care delivery are needed for rapid scale-up of CVD prevention services in sub-Saharan Africa.