Financial burden of HIV and TB among patients in Ethiopia: a cross-sectional survey
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMJ Open. 2020, 10, e03689 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-036892
Objectives HIV and tuberculosis (TB) are major global health threats and can result in household financial hardships. Here, we aim to estimate the household economic burden and the incidence of catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) incurred by HIV and TB care across income quintiles in Ethiopia. Design A cross-sectional survey. Setting 27 health facilities in Afar and Oromia regions for TB, and nationwide household survey for HIV. Participants A total of 1006 and 787 individuals seeking HIV and TB care were enrolled, respectively. Outcome measures The economic burden (ie, direct and indirect cost) of HIV and TB care was estimated. In addition, the CHE incidence and intensity were determined using direct costs exceeding 10% of the household income threshold. Results The mean (SD) age of HIV and TB patient was 40 (10), and 30 (14) years, respectively. The mean (SD) patient cost of HIV was $78 ($170) per year and $115 ($118) per TB episode. Out of the total cost, the direct cost of HIV and TB constituted 69% and 46%, respectively. The mean (SD) indirect cost was $24 ($66) per year for HIV and $63 ($83) per TB episode. The incidence of CHE for HIV was 20%; ranges from 43% in the poorest to 4% in the richest income quintile (p<0.001). Similarly, for TB, the CHE incidence was 40% and ranged between 58% and 20% among the poorest and richest income quintiles, respectively (p<0.001). This figure was higher for drug-resistant TB (62%). Conclusions HIV and TB are causes of substantial economic burden and CHE, inequitably, affecting those in the poorest income quintile. Broadening the health policies to encompass interventions that reduce the high cost of HIV and TB care, particularly for the poor, is urgently needed.