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Documenting and visualising progress towards Universal Health Coverage of insulin and blood glucose test strips for people with diabetes

Published:September 20, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2019.107859

      Abstract

      Aims

      Global governments have committed to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), ensuring access to quality and affordable healthcare for all. This is fundamental for those with type 1 diabetes mellitus, who require daily access to both insulin and blood glucose test strips to survive. This group risks being left behind by global initiatives that fail to consider these particular needs.

      Methods

      A questionnaire was distributed to key informants in 37 less-resourced countries. Seven high-income countries were also included for comparison. We drew on a WHO framework developed to assess progress towards UHC to create scales on three dimensions: population covered, services provided and direct costs. A fourth dimension, availability, was added. Results were grouped into six patterns and visually displayed with radar graphs.

      Results

      65% of the less-resourced national health systems provided insulin, with medians of 67% for service provision (equating to Human Regular and NPH), 55% direct costs covered, and 75% availability. Test strips were only provided in 14% of the less-resourced systems, with medians 42% (less than two strips per day), 76%, and 88% respectively. Six patterns of provision were identified. Progress correlated with income level, yet some low-income countries are achieving provision for insulin and test strips for those enrolled in health insurance schemes.

      Conclusion

      No less-resourced country had even near-complete coverage for insulin, and coverage was worse for test strips. This study demonstrates the utility of this framework which could be developed as a means of tracking progress in meeting the needs of people with diabetes.

      Keywords

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