Health Education for Non-Communicable Diseases: A New Manual for Patients and Professionals

As part of efforts to address the significant increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Albania, a new manual titled “Health Education for Non-Communicable Diseases” has been published.

Developed with the support of the “Health for All” Project (HAP) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), this manual offers information for family medicine teams and users of Primary Healthcare (PHC), particularly those at risk for NCDs, focusing on better prevention and control of complications from diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, asthma, and COPD. These diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in Albania.

Lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and the use of tobacco and alcohol are major contributors to the onset and worsening of these diseases. For this reason, education at the individual level or in small groups, and training professionals in motivational counseling for better prevention and control of NCDs, is essential to curb and control the spread of these diseases.

Educational Content for Healthcare Providers and Patients

Developed and reviewed by a wide range of health professionals, including cardiologists, endocrinologists, and family doctors and nurses, the manual offers practical health information tailored for both healthcare providers and patients. Its two-part structure ensures that health professionals have detailed, professional information to refer to during patient interactions, while patients receive clear and understandable health advice.

The left side of each page contains information tailored for patients. This section uses simple language and illustrations to convey key health messages, making it easy for healthcare providers to share with patients during consultations.

The right side of each page provides more detailed information for healthcare professionals to assist in professional patient counselling. This format ensures that professionals incorporate health education into their daily work, leading to better patient and family health outcomes.

Integration into Training Programs

It is also important to note that the manual’s content will be part of the training agendas for family medicine teams on the implementation of NCD treatment protocols. It will be added to the material base of each participant as an essential tool for clinical practice in health centers.

Expert Contribution and Evidence-Based Approach

The manual’s development process included rigorous reviews and testing with primary care users to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of its content. Experts carefully adapted international health education resources to the Albanian context, ensuring that the information is accurate and applicable in primary healthcare centres.

The productive collaborations that form the basis of this manual’s development highlight its credibility and comprehensive nature. It is set to become an indispensable tool for family doctors and nurses across Albania, helping them provide higher-quality health education to patients.

A Step Forward in Healthcare in Albania

As Albania continues to face the burden of NCDs, the publication of the “Health Education for Non-Communicable Diseases” manual marks a significant step forward. It embodies a proactive approach to healthcare, prioritizing education, prevention, and patient empowerment in health and disease management. By equipping healthcare providers with the necessary tools, knowledge, and counselling techniques, and promoting healthier lifestyle choices among citizens, Albania is making significant strides towards a healthier future for all its citizens.

The document is available for download in PDF format on HAP’s official website or here:

“Health Education for Non-Communicable Diseases”

*This document is awaiting approval by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.