The Uganda PEN-Plus project is supported by the NCDI Poverty network and is being implemented by the Uganda Initiative for Integrated Management of Non-Communicable Diseases (UINCD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and partners. This project builds upon the achievements of the Uganda NCDI commission which UINCD successfully co-hosted with the Ministry of Health NCD department.
PEN-Plus is a model for integrated health service delivery for severe or advanced chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at the first-level referral hospital. It builds on the WHO’s package of essential NCD interventions (WHO PEN) and trains integrated care teams of mid-level providers such as clinical officers and nurses.
This model aligns with the Uganda Ministry of Health integrated chronic care concept that aims to decongest tertiary hospitals by strengthening lower-mid level capacity for NCD care while promoting access to health services to populations in most need.
The Uganda PEN-Plus objectives are.
This three-year pilot is being implemented in two rural hospitals – Nakaseke hospital in Nakaseke district and Atutur hospital in Kumi district – and focuses on four NCDs that are prioritized in the NCDI Commission report. These are; type 1 diabetes, sickle cell disease, rheumatic heart disease, and asthma. Other WHO PEN conditions will be supported to the extent possible. Findings from this pilot will provide key lessons for potential national scale up as well as boost local, regional, and international advocacy efforts for NCDIs.