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African Health Sciences

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The accuracy of self monitoring blood glucose meter systems in Kampala Uganda

G. S. Bimenya, G. R. Nzarubara, J. Kiconco3, S. Sabuni, W. Byarugaba

Abstract


Background: Many blood glucose self-monitoring systems are privately and publicly used by people in Uganda and technical and human errors may occur during their operation. Many patients were referred to Kololo polyclinic laboratory to have their blood glucose checked because the values obtained on the patients' glucose meter systems did not tally with familiar clinical signs and symptoms. This prompted an experimental set up to check glucose meter systems using a larger number of patients.

Objective: The objective was to collate the technical conditions and standing operational procedures of four common glucose meter systems; observe the time, ambient temperature and humidity at which the meter systems operate locally; and compare the performance of three meter systems A, B, and C with the Sensorex glucose meter system on a number of capillary blood samples.

Setting: Kololo polyclinic laboratory – a privately run facility in Kampala, Uganda.

Design: An experimental set up to compare four glucose meter systems.

Methods: Instruction manuals of the four glucose monitoring systems were studied and used to familiarize with the meter operations. One hundred and fourteen capillary blood specimens were assayed for blood glucose. Blood glucose values were instantly read off the four randomly set meter systems A, B, C, and Sensorex, noting the time, ambient temperature and humidity. Results from meter systems A, B, and C were regressed against those of Sensorex using Epi-Info computer program.

Results: Blood glucose concentration levels on meter system A tallied with those on Sensorex meter system. However, those on meter system B and C were significantly lower and different. Temperature and humidity adversely affected the analytical performance of meter systems B and C in the Kampala environ.

Conclusion: Some of the blood glucose monitoring systems in Kampala, Uganda are poor performers and may lead to the mismanagement of patients. There is need for a system to ensure national quality control of blood glucose monitoring systems.


African Health Sciences 2003; 3(1): 23-32



AJOL African Journals Online