My contribution to this is to focus on women groups (especially in developing countries such as Kenya, where women form social welfare groups). The reason I propose these groups is due to their natural responsibility in caring for the family. One paediatrician told me when I rushed my child to him "mothers are the first doctors to their children".
I agree with Bob Amimo that rural community primary care providers, including relatives (particularly mothers) and community health workers, are an important group whose information needs need to be addressed. I suspect that this will be a difficult task, but I think HIFA2015 is in a position to help address that task.
Thanks for this initiative [HIFA 2010 Challenge] and I believe its success will fill a big gap in health care provision in developing countries. In Kenya, and I believe this situation repeats itself in many other developing nations, due to tough economic times, healthcare infrastructure and skilled labour development is just affected as the rest of development sectors. This has resulted into fewer beds and skilled labour per population thereby shortening hospital stay for suffering from chronical illnesses particularly complications arising from HIV/AIDS.
I do believe that even those who are not in diaspora can do something to improve the health of our rural communities. How many specialised brains do we have in Africa health system? I do believe that we ourselves are not doing much to help our communities starting with the villages we come from, our impacts are not normally felt. We need to review our approach from grass-root to policy making level. I am a Community Health Worker but I have not helped my people neither to attained good health information.
My concern would be could those using a BP [blood pressure] chart interpret its meaning?
My own belief is that Growth Monitoring failed because those creating the growth curves had never learnt about graphic representation of number and as a result the growth charts were not used for decision making.
Educational systems in many less privileged countries do not teach graphic representation of number in primary schools at the age Piaget considered it could be most easily comprehended.
I was involved in writing HBP screening guidelines for the State [Maryland, USA] and have found, as a patient, myself, that I have never had a blood pressure taken correctly in the US. Resting time, number of readings, repeats over time, none of these are done appropriately. It is a bit like the incorrect under five weighings I found consistently in the Middle East, West Africa, and the Caribbean.
Screening for Hypertension is done at our outpatient department routinely for all clients before they are seen by clinicians. We also offer free BP checks to members of the public who request. However, this request is granted when the vital signs desk officers are not busy.
You have made important remarks about the "Silent Killer" called HYPERTENSION. Often it is asymptomatic and some people only get to know that they have it when they are screened routinely in hospitals, during free medical examinations by volunteers or after suffering from complications e.g. CVA. Screening for hypertension needs a multipronged approach. I very much agree with David, but like to add that screening could be targeted at social gatherings and market places.
I am 60 years and I developed Hypertension last year 2008 and it was in July when it became obvious that my pressure was not high. Right now I am on treatment that are just very expensive. What I have realised there are good number of people with hypertension though I can not quantify. Many of them not able to recorganise or ignore the symptoms or lack knowledge on their system and have no continuous check up to make them aware of their health status. Hypertension in Uganda affect both rich and poor and very expensive even in the feeding.
Having spent 3 months last year in PNG [Papua New Guinea] and looking at both disease surveillance and health information systems, this is quite encouraging. This ensures that school children will be well informed health managers tomorrow as they will learn to utilise the health information early enough and bridge the current gaps and embrace evidence based decisions as they develop the data culture in their daily operations.