2011/2012 Yearbook Health

Laboratory services

The laboratory plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Accurate and timely laboratory tests are essential for modern healthcare. Reliable laboratory results enable accurate diagnosis and more targeted and efficient patient treatment. The above notwithstanding, most sub-district hospitals have poorly equipped small rooms/cubicles as laboratories. Some 73 per cent of the hospitals do not have national quality control measures due to inadequate staff, equipment and logistics. Marginalization and chronic neglect of laboratory means that patient tests are not done resulting to poor management of patients, lengthy stay in hospitals and waste of medicine.

Non-communicable diseases Diabetes

There are 1.5 million Kenyans living with diabetes. The prevalence is fast rising, mainly due to unhealthy lifestyles. The main challenge in treating diabetes remains the access to insulin, particularly because of price and lack of skilled professionals mainly in rural areas. Several studies in Kenya have shown that the prevalence of foot ulcers was a significant resultant complication at tertiary clinics like Kenyatta National Hospital. The risk factors attributed to the ulcers were poor glycemic control, diastolic hypertension, infection, dyslipidemia, and poor self-care, which are modifiable and manageable.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) develops when absolute insulin deficiency and an absolute increase in contrainsulin hormones occurs, increasing hepatic glucose production, decreasing peripheral glucose utilisation, and stimulating release of fatty acids from fat cells and production of ketones by the liver are present. A study conducted at Kenyatta National Hospital found that diabetic ketoacidosis occurred in eight per cent of the hospitalised diabetic patients, and almost 29.8 per cent of the patients died within 48 hours of presentation