Non-communicable Disease

Improving the Detection and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases Among the Adult Population of a Catchment of a Rural Primary Healthcare Unit in Sidama Regional State, Ethiopia

Background: Chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, are among the leading causes of premature death and disability globally. Hypertension and diabetes mellitus are the two common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries, including Ethiopia. Hypertension and diabetes inflict severe burdens by directly affecting the population’s health or causing disabilities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designed strategies to improve the detection, treatment, and management of non-communicable. Early detection and management are critical interventions for preventing hypertension and diabetes complications and deaths and improving treatment outcomes. Ethiopia attempted to combat the challenge of key non-communicable diseases, though little progress was observed in controlling the conditions. Furthermore, the readiness of the primary healthcare units to manage and care for NCDs is still being determined.

We, therefore, propose to improve the early detection and management of hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and NCD-related physical disabilities among adults aged 45 years and older in rural primary healthcare units in Sidama Regional State. In addition, we plan to examine whether the diagnosis of family members with NCDs affects the participants’ decision to join community-based health insurance.


The objectives of these studies will be

  • to improve the management of hypertension among adults aged ≥45 years old,
  • to improve the detection and management of diabetes mellitus among the adult population in a rural primary healthcare facility,
  • to assess the readiness of the primary healthcare units in rural districts to manage non-communicable diseases;
  • to determine the prevalence of physical disability among older people;
  • to assess the enrolment in community-based health insurance among households

Methods: The study will be conducted in catchment areas of the Dobe-Toga Health Centre, a typical area in the Shebedino Woreda. The Dobe-Toga Health Centre is one of the six health centres in a rural kebele in Shebebidno Woreda, serving 38,874 people in its catchment area of four kebeles, 5054 of them being adults aged ≥45 years old. The required data for the study will be collected through community-based cross-sectional surveys and single-arm cohort studies in the health centre. The follow-up tests and examinations will be conducted during the 1st, 3rd, and 6th months of diagnosis at the health centre. The sample size of 3301 has been calculated for the community-based cross-sectional surveys.

Source of funding: This study will be funded by the South Ethiopia Network of Universities in Public Health II (SENUPH II).

Staff: Dr Melaku H. Likka and Dr. Hiwot Abera Areru from Hawassa University are lead investigators, and PhD students are Desalegn Tsegaw Hibistu and Betelihem Eshetu Birhanu. Professor Bernt Lindtjørn is a researcher.