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Kenya launches guidelines to manage cardiovascular diseases

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s health authorities on Thursday launched national guidelines for cardiovascular disease management to help reverse the increasing cases of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Sicily Kariuki, Health Ministry Cabinet Secretary said that the guidelines will help in prevention and screening as well as standardizing the treatment of cardiovascular diseases across the country.

“The guidelines contain up to date, innovative and evidence-based approaches towards bridging the gaps in prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases,” she told journalists in Nairobi.

Kariuki said the launch comes at a time when 25 percent of hospital admissions and 13 percent of deaths in Kenya are due to cardiovascular diseases.

She noted that the guidelines will ensure improved quality of care for persons living with cardiovascular diseases hence better health outcomes.

“We intend to equip health facilities countrywide by installing modern cardiovascular diseases diagnostic and management equipments,” Kariuki added.

She observed that despite the launch, the ultimate responsibility of prevention lies with each individual in avoiding tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets.

Kariuki urged Kenyans to enroll into the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to enjoy the benefits of its expanded package that includes cardiovascular screening and treatment.

Rudi Eggers, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative in Kenya, called for increased primary health care to help people in rural areas change their lifestyles.

Eggers said that populations need to be educated on the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and use of salt in foods.

“The launch of the guidelines will greatly contribute towards the reduction of premature deaths in the country,” he added.



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