As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru’s EsSalud - Social Health Insurance Institute (EsSalud - Seguro Social de Salud) was not able to provide patients with a single diagnosis of arterial hypertension with adequate check-ups due to the suspension of some services and the health regulations in place at the time. This led to an increase in hypertensive patients with diabetes mellitus (in 2020, there were 15 per cent more hypertensive patients with diabetes mellitus). Many of these patients were first treated for diabetes by emergency units, which had devastating effects on the individuals and their families, as caring for these patients during the pandemic was time-consuming and involved additional costs for equipment, such as glucometers and other items. Likewise, caring for patients in these circumstances came at a substantial cost to the institution.
To tackle this situation, using their knowledge of the guidelines for primary care and a clear understanding of the concept of primary and secondary health prevention, the multidisciplinary team of the Primary Health Care Centre II Chilca (Centro de Atención Primaria II Chilca) started to identify hypertensive patients with impaired fasting glucose (IFG). These patients then received timely check-up and follow-up care, to improve comprehensive monitoring and reduce new cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus in these patients.