Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease of multiple etiologies that results from a deficit in insulin production, insulin action or both. Diabetes affects millions of people globally and is among the chronic diseases that take a huge toll on human health as well as resources, and regardless of this, the condition continues to face neglect by individuals, communities and states. The disorder is associated with significant disability, premature deaths and enormous medical costs often resulting from the chronic complications. Chronic complications of diabetes result from inadequate secondary prevention practices and they include both micro-vascular and macro-vascular complications affecting the kidneys, eyes, neurons, heart, and the circulation. Upon diagnosis with T2DM, secondary preventive practices are fundamental in the prevention of the occurrence of chronic complications. However, inadequate knowledge on these measures among the patients and healthcare providers has been indicated as a major reason for the development of complications. Thus, the study sought to assess the level of knowledge and practice of the secondary prevention among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus at Consolata Nkubu and Meru Level Five Hospital in Meru County. A descriptive correlational study design was adopted to collect data from 357 purposively sampled participants with T2DM using questionnaires and Focus Group Discussion Guide. Quantitative data was analyzed at a significance level p≤0.05. Most respondents had T2DM for 5-10 years and the main co-morbidity that affected 79% of the respondents was hypertension. The last BP measurements for most respondents was >140/90mmHg and blood glucose level of >7.8mmol/L with 53.7% having a BMI score of more than 25kg/m2. Concerning secondary prevention 70.6% (n=250) did foot examination during every visit, 56.5% (n=200) had their eyes examined annually, 26% (n=92) had urine checks annually, 18.9% (n=67) had body cholesterol level check-up regularly and 69.5% (n=246) had regular blood pressure monitoring. The mean score was 48.3% and SD was 30.1. Most respondents had overall poor knowledge of prevention practices. Knowledge level significantly influenced T2DM secondary prevention at a p value ≤0.05. Measures to improve the knowledge and practice of secondary prevention should be instigated.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, Healthcare, Kenya