Cost-effectiveness and budget impact of decentralising childhood tuberculosis diagnosis in six high tuberculosis incidence countries: a mathematical modelling study.

d'Elbée M Harker M Mafirakureva N Nanfuka M Huyen Ton Nu Nguyet M Taguebue JV Moh R Khosa C Mustapha A Mwanga-Amumpere J Borand L Nolna SK Komena E Cumbe S Mugisha J Natukunda N Mao TE Wittwer J Bénard A Bernard T Sohn H Bonnet M Wobudeya E Marcy O Dodd PJ
EClinicalMedicine 2024 Apr ; 70; . doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2024.102528. Epub 2024 03 21
Decentralisation Diagnosis Economic evaluation Low- and middle-income countries Paediatric tuberculosis


BACKGROUND: The burden of childhood tuberculosis remains high globally, largely due to under-diagnosis. Decentralising childhood tuberculosis diagnosis services to lower health system levels could improve case detection, but there is little empirically based evidence on cost-effectiveness or budget impact.

METHODS: In this mathematical modelling study, we assessed the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of decentralising a comprehensive diagnosis package for childhood tuberculosis to district hospitals (DH-focused) or primary health centres (PHC-focused) compared to standard of care (SOC). The project was conducted in Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Uganda between August 1st, 2018 and September 30th, 2021. A mathematical model was developed to assess the health and economic outcomes of the intervention from a health system perspective. Estimated outcomes were tuberculosis cases, deaths, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). We also calculated the budget impact of nationwide implementation. The TB-Speed Decentralization study is registered with, NCT04038632.

FINDINGS: For the DH-focused strategy versus SOC, ICERs ranged between $263 (Cambodia) and $342 (Côte d'Ivoire) per DALY averted. For the PHC-focused strategy versus SOC, ICERs ranged between $477 (Cambodia) and $599 (Côte d'Ivoire) per DALY averted. Results were sensitive to TB prevalence and the discount rate used. The additional costs of implementing the DH-focused strategy ranged between $12.8 M (range 10.8-16.4) (Cambodia) and $50.4 M (36.5-74.4) (Mozambique), and between $13.9 M (12.6-15.6) (Sierra Leone) and $134.6 M (127.1-143.0) (Uganda) for the PHC-focused strategy.

INTERPRETATION: The DH-focused strategy may be cost-effective in some countries, depending on the cost-effectiveness threshold used for policy making. Either intervention would require substantial early investment.

FUNDING: Unitaid.

© 2024 The Authors.