MWJ2016, 7, 12
Malaria remains a disease of immense clinical and economic significance. Limited research has been carried out to estimate malaria treatment costs at the health care facility level using the patient’s perspective. The objectives of this study were therefore to determine the direct and indirect costs of malaria treatment among adult outpatients and to assess the patients’ perception of treatment costs. A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Pharmacy section of the General Practice Clinic, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. It involved adult outpatients diagnosed with malaria and who received a prescription of one or more anti-malarial medications. A cost-of-illness approach was employed in the assessment of costs of treatment of malaria per sick adult patient. Pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires were used in the study. Furthermore, self-reported incidence of malaria per year was assessed. The mean direct and indirect cost of treating malaria illness per adult outpatient was Nigerian Naira (NGN) 3417.70 ($ 20.34) and NGN 4870 ($ 29.0), respectively, giving a ratio of 0.7:1. Medications and laboratory tests for detection of malaria parasites contributed about 52 and 22% of the total direct cost, respectively. A total of 1592 malaria episodes were self-reported to occur annually, giving a mean value of 3.35 episodes per adult. Having a health care insurance was associated with the response that the cost of malaria treatment was low (P< 0.001). The mean values of direct cost and indirect cost of treatment of malaria illness per adult outpatient were $ 20.34 and $ 29.0, respectively. Respondents who had health insurance perceived malaria treatment cost to be low, whereas those without such insurance felt otherwise.