Direct and indirect costs for hospitalized patients with dengue in Southern Sri Lanka.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: The Southern Province of Sri Lanka is endemic with dengue, with frequent outbreaks and occurrence of severe disease. However, the economic burden of dengue is poorly quantified. Therefore, we conducted a cost analysis to assess the direct and indirect costs associated with hospitalized patients with dengue to households and to the public healthcare system. METHODS: From June 2017-December 2018, we prospectively enrolled children and adults with acute dengue hospitalized at the largest, public tertiary-care (1800 bed) hospital in the Southern Province, Sri Lanka. We administered a structured questionnaire to obtain information regarding direct costs spent by households on medical visits, medications, laboratory testing, and travel for seeking care for the illness. Indirect costs lost by households were estimated by identifying the days of work lost by patients and caregivers and school days lost by children. Direct hospital costs were estimated using gross costing approach and adjusted by multiplying by annual inflation rates in Sri Lankan rupees and converted to US dollars. RESULTS: A total of 1064 patients with laboratory-confirmed dengue were enrolled. The mean age (SD) was 35.9 years (15.6) with male predominance (66.2%). The mean durations of hospitalization for adults and paediatric patients were 3.86 (SD = 1.51) and 4 (SD = 1.32) days, respectively. The per-capita direct cost borne by the healthcare system was 233.76 USD, and was approximately 14 times greater than the per-capita direct cost borne by households (16.29 USD, SD = 14.02). The per-capita average number of loss of working days was 21.51 (SD = 41.71), with mean per-capita loss of income due to loss of work being 303.99 USD (SD = 569.77), accounting for over 70% of average monthly income. On average, 10.88 days (SD = 10.97) of school days were missed due to the dengue episode. School misses were expected to reduce future annual income of affected children by 0.44%. CONCLUSIONS: Dengue requiring hospitalization had a substantial economic burden on the public healthcare system in Sri Lanka and the affected households. These findings emphasize the importance of strengthening dengue control activities and improved use of hospital-based resources for care to reduce the economic impact of dengue in Sri Lanka.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Weerasinghe, NP; Bodinayake, CK; Wijayaratne, WMDGB; Devasiri, IV; Dahanayake, NJ; Kurukulasooriya, MRP; Premamali, M; Sheng, T; Nicholson, BP; Ubeysekera, HA; de Silva, AD; Østbye, T; Woods, CW; Tillekeratne, LG; Nagahawatte, ADS

Published Date

  • May 16, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 657 -

PubMed ID

  • 35578247

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9112532

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1472-6963

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s12913-022-08048-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England