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Must Diabetes be a Fatal Disease in Africa? Study of Costs of Treatment.

Authors
Publisher
British Medical Association
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Diabetes
Disciplines
  • Medicine
  • Political Science

Abstract

To estimate the costs of diagnosis and treatment of diabetes in Tanzania. Costs estimated from the reported and recorded experience of patients with newly presenting diabetes in 1989-90 and of diabetic patients first seen in 1981-2. Muhimbili Medical Centre, Dar es Salaam. 464 patients (315 men and 149 women). 262 patients diagnosed during 1 September 1989-31 August 1990 (group 1) and 202 during 1 June 1981-31 August 1982 (group 2). The average annual direct cost of diabetes care in 1989-90 was $287 for a patient requiring insulin and $103 for a patient not requiring insulin. Purchase of insulin accounted for 68.2% ($156) of the average annual outpatient costs for patients requiring insulin. For patients not requiring insulin the cost of oral hypoglycaemic drugs and treatment of chronic complications and infections accounted for 42.5% ($29.3) and 48.8% ($33.7) of costs respectively. Cost of outpatient care of diabetic patients for the whole of Tanzania was estimated at $2.7m, *75,128 (32.2%) of which was for insulin. Doctors' and nurses' costs accounted for 0.2% of total costs of outpatient care. The annual direct inpatient care costs were estimated at $1.25m. Around 0.2% of the Tanzanian population aged 15 years and over used the equivalent of 8% of the total government health expenditure, which was $47,4088,382. Diabetes places a severe strain on the limited resources of developing countries. If African patients with diabetes have to pay for their treatment most will be unable to do so and will die.

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