Availability of resources of diabetic care in primary health care settings in Aseer region, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Med J. 2002 Dec;23(12):1509-13.


Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the availability of resources of diabetes care in primary health care settings in Aseer region, Southwest, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This study was conducted during September 2001 by distributing a questionnaire to all technical directors of primary health care centers (PHCCs) in Aseer region. The questionnaire, designed by the authors, contained 6 sections that dealt with the necessary structures of diabetic care in the region in addition to the data base of PHCC such as served population, distance from the hospital, and total working physicians and nurses at the PHCC. The data from the questionnaire was entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences.

Results: Two hundred and forty-two PHCC technical directors responded to the questionnaire. Total served population by PHCC was 970,306 individuals. Total working physicians were 391 and nurses were 902. Diabetics represented 2.7% of the total served population. More than 90% of PHCCs have diabetic files, registers, appointment system and protocol for diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Oral hypoglycemic agents were always available at 55% of PHCCs while metformin was not available at 52% of PHCCs. Diabetic identification cards were available in 80.4% of PHCCs while the health education means were less available, except for health education programs was available at 97.5% of PHCCs. At least, 40% of PHCCs were provided financially or by different means of health education through community health committees.

Conclusion: This study revealed that resource items for diabetic care are inadequate in particular drugs and laboratory facilities. Establishment of a diabetes committee in Aseer region is a priority in order to manage such shortages and to plan, supervise and coordinate the diabetic care in the region.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Saudi Arabia