Health experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) believe that poor adherence to medical treatment is the most crucial cause of the rising cases of uncontrolled blood pressure among patients. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels are prevalent in 76.6 per cent of diabetic patients, and the non-seriousness of the chronic disease is a matter of grave concern. The report mentioned that the problem of non-adherence to treatments in developed countries is only 50 per cent. In developing and under-developed countries, the impact of poor adherence can be even more significant, owing to the lack of healthcare services.
Diabetes:A Rising Problem In India
In India, diabetes is a rising problem, with 8.6 per cent of the population (77 million) already suffering from the condition. Thus, addressing the issue of adherence to medical treatments can significantly benefit healthcare. An estimated 31 per cent of people across the world never fill their prescriptions, and half of the total do not take medicines as prescribed by the doctor. Non-adherence to treatment can have long-term implications on individuals and the country's healthcare infrastructure. Health complications, the rising cost of treatment, High patient-doctor ratio, risk of morbidity and reduced mortality are a few to name.
WHO says that solid evidence suggests that many patients with chronic illnesses like asthma, hypertension and HIV/AIIDS face several obstacles in adhering to the recommended regimes. Health stakeholders have generally overlooked adherence problems and have received little direct, systematic intervention. This non-compliance leads to psychological and medical issues and wastage of healthcare resources. Three prevalent chronic diseases, diabetes, hypertension and asthma, provide compelling illustrations of different facets of these issues.
The International health watchdog mentions that despite strong evidence against patient-related factors being the sole reason for non-adherence, it is often seen that the patient is held responsible for their condition. In a critical situation, the healthcare systems, governments and caregivers need to support the patient and not hold them responsible for their conditions.