Facilitators, context of and barriers to acute coronary syndrome care at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya: A qualitative analysis

Ehete Bahiru, Teda Temu, Julia Mwanga, Kevin Ndede, Sophie Vusha, Bernard Gitura, Carey Farquhar, Frederick Bukachi, Mark D. Huffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The prevalence of ischaemic heart disease and its acute manifestation, acute coronary syndrome (ACS), is growing throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya. To address this increasing problem, we sought to understand the facilitators, context of and barriers to ACS care at Kenyatta National Hospital, with the aim of improving the quality of care of ACS. Methods: We conducted in-depth interviews with healthcare providers involved in the management of ACS patients from January to February 2017 at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. We selected an initial sample of key participants for interviewing and used a snowballing technique to identify additional participants until we achieved saturation, After transcription of audio recordings of the interviews, two authors conducted data coding and analysis using a framework approach. Results: We conducted 16 interviews with healthcare providers. Major themes included the need to improve the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of the hospital, including increasing the number of ECG machines and access to thrombolytics. Participants highlighted an overall wide availability of other guideline-directed medical therapies, including antiplatelets, beta-blockers, statins, anticoagulants and ACE inhibitors. All participants also stated the need for and openness to accepting future interventions for improvement of q uality of care, including checklists and audits to improve ACS care at Kenyatta National Hospital. Conclusion: Major barriers to ACS care at Kenyatta National Hospital include inadequate diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, lack of hospital-wide ACS guidelines, undertraining of healthcare providers and delayed presentation of patients seeking care, We also identified potential targets, including checklists and audits for future improvements in quality of care from the perspective of healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalCardiovascular Journal of Africa
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Global health
  • Qualitative research
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


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