The cost of large-scale school health programmes which deliver anthelmintics to children in Ghana and Tanzania. The Partnership for Child Development

Acta Tropica

Abstract

It has been argued that the delivery of anthelmintics to school-children through existing education infrastructure can be one of the most cost-effective approaches to controlling parasitic worm infection. This paper examines the actual costs of a combination of mass and selective treatment for schistosomiasis using praziquantel and mass treatment for intestinal nematodes using albendazole, as an integral part of school health programmes reaching 80442 pupils in 577 schools in Volta Region, Ghana, and reaching 109099 pupils in 350 schools in Tanga Region, Tanzania. The analysis shows that financial delivery costs per child treated using praziquantel, which involved a dose related to body mass and a prior screening at the school level, were US$ 0.67 in Ghana and US$ 0.21 in Tanzania, while the delivery costs for albendazole, which was given as a fixed dose to all children, were US$ 0.04 in Ghana and US$ 0.03 in Tanzania. The higher unit costs in Ghana reflect the epidemiology of infection; overall, fixed costs were similar in both countries, but fewer children required treatment in Ghana. Analysis of economic costs-which includes the cost of unpaid days of labour--indicates that the financial costs are increased in Ghana by 78% a...Continue Reading

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