Document Type



Emergency Medicine (East Africa)


Introduction: Mortality and morbidity from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Africa are expected to worsen if the status quo is maintained. Emergency care settings act as a primary point of entry into the health system for a spectrum of NCD-related illnesses, however, there is a dearth of literature on this population. We conducted a systematic review assessing available evidence on epidemiology, interventions and management of NCDs in acute and emergency care settings in Kenya, the largest economy in East Africa and a medical hub for the continent.

Methods: All searches were run on July 15, 2015 and updated on December 11, 2020, capturing concepts of NCDs, and acute and emergency care. The study is registered at PROSPERO (CRD42018088621).

Results: We retrieved a total of 461 references, and an additional 23 articles in grey literature. 391 studies were excluded by title or abstract, and 93 articles read in full. We included 10 articles in final thematic analysis. The majority of studies were conducted in tertiary referral or private/mission hospitals. Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal disease were addressed. Majority of the studies were retrospective, cross-sectional in design; no interventions or clinical trials were identified. There was a lack of access to basic diagnostic tools, and management of NCDs and their complications was limited.

Conclusion: There is a paucity of literature on NCDs in Kenyan emergency care settings, with particular gaps on interventions and management. Opportunities include nationally representative, longitudinal research such as surveillance and registries, as well as clinical trials and implementation science to advance evidence-based, context-specific care.


African Journal of Emergency Medicine