Spatial Analysis of Hypertension Screening, Prevalence, and Treatment in Kenya

Authors: Barbara Kagima*, University of Iowa
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Africa
Keywords: Kenya, Chronic Disease, Africa, Health Geography, Hypertension
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In Kenya, the prevalence of chronic, non-communicable, diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer has surged in recent history. These diseases are of major public health concern due to increased health care costs, premature deaths, and lost workforce productivity. Historically, health care in Kenya has focused on managing infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV. Although the prevalence of infectious diseases is declining in Kenya, the increase of chronic conditions creates a double burden of disease on a health care system that is at times ill-equipped to screen, treat, and manage chronic diseases such as hypertension. A recent nationally representative survey found a 25% prevalence of hypertension in Kenya, but only 15% of those diagnosed during the survey were aware of their hypertensive status. Although the prevalence of hypertension was similar in both rural and urban inhabitants, the rate of awareness about their condition was much lower for rural dwellers. Using data from the 2014 Demographic Health Survey and 2015 STEPwise survey, I examine the spatial dynamics of hypertension screening, prevalence, and access to treatment in Kenya.

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