Dorina Toçi1, Alban Ylli1,2, Genc Burazeri2,Bajram Dedja1, Eduard Kakarriqi1,2, Herion Muja1, Ervin Toçi1,2, Albana Fico1,2
1Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania.
Aim: In 2015, Albania launched a new program in primary health care called the National Medical Check-Up. The main goals of the program were early detection of non-communicable diseases, risk factors, health education and improvement of basic health services, increasing capacities in primary health care and access to services for the whole population. Our aim was to provide the readers with various findings generated in the framework of this program.
Methodology: All citizens aged 40-65 were invited to perform free basic health screening at the health center. Since October 2016 the program was expanded to 35-70 age-groups. National Medical Check-Up program provides data on participation, prevalence of selected diseases and selected risk factors in the Albanian population, as well as their distribution by region, sex and age group.
Results: Until February 2018, 954 667 visits were performed. More than half of participants (61%) were females. Among screened participants, the prevalence of hypertension, prediabetes and diabetes was approximately 36.5%, 15.4% and 9.1%, respectively. The prevalence of high LDL-cholesterol, overweight and obesity was 25.6%, 42% and 33%, respectively. About 0.75% of all participants had a positive fecal occult blood test.
Conclusion: The analysis of National Medical Check-Up data demonstrated that the prevalence of major risk factors for non-communicable diseases in the Albanian population aged 35-70 years is considerably high, implying that the potential for prevention is also high. This information contributes for developing evidence-based policies and for rational decision-making in the health sector.
Keywords:check-up program, primary health care, screening.