Research for Actionable Policies: implementation science priorities to scale up non–communicable disease interventions in Kenya
Low– to middle–income countries (LMICs) are disproportionately affected by the rise in prevalence of non–communicable diseases (NCDs). According to the World Health Organization, four groups of diseases– cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes – comprise 82% of NCD deaths worldwide and three–quarters of the deaths related to NCD occur in LMIC . In Sub–Saharan Africa, the World Bank estimates that nearly 46% of all deaths will be attributable to NCDs by 2030, and 41% of all deaths for those aged 15–59 will be due to NCDs .
Similar to other Sub–Saharan African countries, Kenya is experiencing an explosive growth in NCDs, especially those related to cancer and cardiovascular diseases . There is therefore an urgent need to determine implementable interventions to reduce the growing burden from these and other NCDs, including respiratory diseases, injuries and mental health. Although there are many ongoing research studies and demonstration programs , it is not clear whether these activities address the Kenyan Government’s evidence needs and priorities to support their NCD strategy . To understand the current research landscape in order to guide the implementation research agenda in Kenya, RTI International, Kenya Ministry of Health, NCD Alliance Kenya, Kenya Medical Research Institute, and University of Nairobi hosted a two–day symposium on September 7–8, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The symposium was entitled, “Research for Actionable Policies: Implementation Science Priorities to Scale Up Non–Communicable Disease Interventions in Kenya.” The sections that follow provide an overview of the meeting including its purpose and objectives, a summary of the proceedings and recommendations to address gaps in NCD implementation science research in Kenya.