Can patients afford the cost of treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Ethiopia?
OBJECTIVE: To understand the costs that patients incur in obtaining diagnosis and treatment for MDR-TB.
DESIGN: In March 2013, interviews were conducted with 169 MDR-TB patients at three hospitals in Ethiopia to identify the cost to patients and the impact on employment and family income.
RESULTS: The average MDR-TB patient incurred a total cost of US$1378, which represented 25 months of a mid-treatment household income of US$54. The impact on the patient's employment and on overall patient and family income was generally catastrophic: 74% of all respondents reported losing their jobs, 66% of patients lost household income, and household income was reduced by 38%. To help cover the costs, 38% of patients sold some type of property, while 7% leased out property and 41% took out loans, any of which could jeopardize their future financial situation even further.
CONCLUSION: Despite services being officially free of charge, most patients incurred catastrophic costs and suffered significant income loss as a result of obtaining diagnosis and treatment for MDR-TB.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Management Sciences for Health, Medford, Massachusetts, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 2: Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, Addis Ababa 3: St Peter's TB Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa 4: All Africa Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Rehabilitation Training Centre Hospital, Addis Ababa 5: University of Gonder Hospital, Gonder, Ethiopia
Publication date: August 1, 2018
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