Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 12, No 4 (2016)

Economic Costs of Patients Attending the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) Services in Ethiopia: Urban - Rural Settings

Elias Asfaw Zegeye, Josue Mbonigaba, Sylvia Blanche Kaye


Economic analyses of patients’ costs are pertinent to improve effective healthcare services including the prevention of mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission (PMTCT). This study assessed the direct and non-direct medical costs borne by pregnant women attending PMTCT services in urban (high-HIV prevalence) and rural (low-HIV prevalence) settings, in Ethiopia. Patient-level direct medical costs and direct non-medical data were collected from HIV-positive pregnant women in six regions. The cost estimation was classified as direct medical (service fee, drugs and laboratory) and direct non-medical (food, transportation and accommodation). The mean direct medical expense per patient per year was Ethiopian birr (ETB) 746 (US$ 38) in the urban settings, as compared to ETB 368 (US$ 19) in the rural settings. On average, a pregnant woman from urban and rural catchments incurred direct non-medical costs of ETB 6,435 (US$ 327) and ETB 2,154 (US$ 110) per year, respectively. On average, non-medical costs of friend/relative/guardian were ETB 2,595 (US$ 132) and ETB 2,919 (US$ 148.39) in the urban and rural settings, respectively. Although the PMTCT service is provided free of charge, HIV-positive pregnant women and infant pairs still face a substantial amount of out-of-pocket spending due to direct medical and non-medical costs.  


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