Aims: To implement a protocol-driven primary nurse-led care for type 2 diabetes in rural and urban Cameroon.
Methods: We set-up three primary healthcare clinics in Yaounde (Capital city) and two in the Bafut rural health district. Participants were 225 (17% rural) patients with known or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, not requiring insulin, referred either from a baseline survey (38 patients, 17%), or secondarily attracted to the clinics. Protocol-driven glucose and blood pressure control were delivered by trained nurses. The main outcomes were trajectories of fasting capillary glucose and blood pressure indices, and differences in the mean levels between baseline and final visits.
Results: The total duration of follow-up was 1110 patient-months. During follow-up, there was a significant downward trend in fasting capillary glucose overall (p<0.001) and in most subgroups of participants. Between baseline and final visits, mean fasting capillary glucose dropped by 1.6 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.8-2.3; p< or =0.001). Among those with hypertension, blood pressure also decreased significantly for systolic and marginally for diastolic blood pressure. No major significant change was noticed for body weight.
Conclusions: Nurses may be potential alternatives to improve access to diabetes care in settings where physicians are not available.