Cost analysis of an integrated disease surveillance and response system: case of Burkina Faso, Eritrea, and Mali
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2 WHO Country Office, Asmara, Eritrea
3 Disease Prevention and Control, Ministry of Health, Eritrea
4 WHO Country Office, Bamako, Mali
5 Service Surveillance des Maladies, Ministère de la Santé, Mali
6 Direction des Etudes et de la Planification, Ministère de la Santé, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
7 WHO African Regional Office, Harare, Zimbabwe
Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation 2009, 7:1 doi:10.1186/1478-7547-7-1Published: 8 January 2009
Communicable diseases are the leading causes of illness, deaths, and disability in sub-Saharan Africa. To address these threats, countries within the World Health Organization (WHO) African region adopted a regional strategy called Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR). This strategy calls for streamlining resources, tools, and approaches to better detect and respond to the region's priority communicable disease. The purpose of this study was to analyze the incremental costs of establishing and subsequently operating activities for detection and response to the priority diseases under the IDSR.
We collected cost data for IDSR activities at central, regional, district, and primary health care center levels from Burkina Faso, Eritrea, and Mali, countries where IDSR is being fully implemented. These cost data included personnel, transportation items, office consumable goods, media campaigns, laboratory and response materials and supplies, and annual depreciation of buildings, equipment, and vehicles.
Over the period studied (2002–2005), the average cost to implement the IDSR program in Eritrea was $0.16 per capita, $0.04 in Burkina Faso and $0.02 in Mali. In each country, the mean annual cost of IDSR was dependent on the health structure level, ranging from $35,899 to $69,920 at the region level, $10,790 to $13,941 at the district level, and $1,181 to $1,240 at the primary health care center level. The proportions spent on each IDSR activity varied due to demand for special items (e.g., equipment, supplies, drugs and vaccines), service availability, distance, and the epidemiological profile of the country.
This study demonstrates that the IDSR strategy can be considered a low cost public health system although the benefits have yet to be quantified. These data can also be used in future studies of the cost-effectiveness of IDSR.