Economic implications of three strategies for the control of taeniasis
Objective To evaluate the cost‐effectiveness of three strategies for the control of taeniasis in a community, in terms of cost per case treated.
Methods A study was conducted in South India to determine the prevalence of taeniasis by screening stool samples from 653 randomly chosen subjects, for coproantigens. The costs incurred in the project were used to estimate the cost per case screened and treated. A one‐way sensitivity analysis was carried out for varying rates of taeniasis, different screening strategies and mass therapy. Further sensitivity analysis was carried out with different manpower and test costs.
Results The rate of taeniasis as detected by ELISA for coproantigen was 3 per 1000 (2 of 653 samples). Our study showed that mass therapy without screening for taeniasis would be the most economical strategy in terms of cost per case treated if field workers are employed exclusively for either mass therapy or screening. For each strategy, costs per case treated are higher at low prevalence of taeniasis, with a sharp rise below 15%.
Conclusions In places that are endemic for taeniasis and neurocysticercosis, mass therapy or screening for taeniasis should be considered. Screening by stool microscopy is not cost‐effective in terms of cost per case of taeniasis treated owing to its low sensitivity. Although the cost per case of taeniasis treated is high at low prevalence of taeniasis for all options, incorporating mass therapy into existing mass drug distribution programmes might prove to be the most cost‐effective control strategy.
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