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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012, Article ID 584041, 7 pages
Research Article

Gaps in Capacity in Primary Care in Low-Resource Settings for Implementation of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions

1Chronic Disease Prevention and Management, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
2Public Health Institute, Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan
3World Health Organization, Colombo, Sri Lanka
4WPRO, World Health Organization, Manila, Philippines
5EMRO, World Health Organization, Cairo, Egypt
6PAHO-WHO, Paramaribo, Suriname
7AFRO, World Health Organization, Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo
8Ministry of Health, Damascus, Syria
9World Health Organization, Asmara, Eritrea
10Ministry of Health, Paramaribo, Suriname
11World Health Organization, Thimphu, Bhutan
12World Health Organization, Hanoi, Vietnam
13General Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
14Ministry of Health, Cotonou, Benin
15Ministry of Health, Colombo, Sri Lanka
16NCD Directorate, Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan
17Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea
18Ministry of Health, Thimphu, Bhutan
19World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Received 20 September 2012; Revised 23 October 2012; Accepted 24 October 2012

Academic Editor: Eoin O’Brien

Copyright © 2012 S. Mendis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The objective was to evaluate the capacity of primary care (PC) facilities to implement basic interventions for prevention and management of major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Methods. A cross-sectional survey was done in eight low- and middle-income countries (Benin, Bhutan, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, and Vietnam) in 90 PC facilities randomly selected. The survey included questions on the availability of human resources, equipment, infrastructure, medicines, utilization of services, financing, medical information, and referral systems. Results and Conclusions. Major deficits were identified in health financing, access to basic technologies and medicines, medical information systems, and the health workforce. The study has provided the foundation for strengthening PC to address noncommunicable diseases. There are important implications of the findings of this study for all low- and middle-income countries as capacity of PC is fundamental for equitable prevention and control of NCDs.