An evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of the introduction of an isoniazid prophylaxis treatment (IPT) register for tuberculosis contact management in children less than five years of age in a high-burden community healthcare clinic (CHC) setting in the Western Cape, South Africa

Van Soelen, Nelda (2014-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Childhood tuberculosis is an infectious disease that can cause serious illness and mortality in especially young children. Following contact with an infectious adult tuberculosis case, the disease is easily preventable through preventive isoniazid treatment, yet very few exposed and at-risk children currently access this healthcare service in most high-burden settings. Previous research pointed out the multifactorial and complex nature of the barriers to accessing preventive care. Specifically, the lack of a formalised recording and reporting tool, such as the universally used tuberculosis treatment registers, possibly contribute to the operational barriers of preventive care delivery to these children. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an isoniazid preventive treatment register tool used at community level. The study utilised previously reported data from the study population and other high-burden settings to construct a decision analysis model that included varying probabilities of isoniazid preventive treatment across three high risk age groups (<1 year of age, 1 – 2 years of age, 3 – 5 years of age), coupled with disease probabilities and associated treatment costs. The scenarios simulated included 1) the routine isoniazid preventive treatment service (3% started on treatment, 17% identified as eligible); and 2) an isoniazid preventive treatment service supported by a recording register (15% (adherent to six months of treatment) and 38% (started on IPT treatment)). In addition, two hypothetical simulations were included for 76% and 100% isoniazid preventive treatment uptake; these hypothetical simulations required additional community based healthcare worker resources in addition to the register tool. The observations from the literature indicated that more children were identified (24(17%) vs. 54(38%)) and started (4(3%, base case) vs. 54) on isoniazid preventive treatment following the implementation of the register. As expected, the mean number of tuberculosis cases prevented, increased as the proportion of eligible children that received isoniazid preventive treatment, improved; the change in the number of cases prevented per simulation showed incremental improvements which were all significantly better (p<0.01) than the base case.. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios incurred savings for each of the scenarios simulated since the mean costs for each of the simulations were significantly less (p<0.01) than the costs associated with the base case. The current evidence suggests that the proposed isoniazid preventive treatment register tool is a cost-effective alternative to the current standard of care in place at community level for at-risk children exposed to tuberculosis. It is therefore recommended that the tool be used incrementally on a bigger scale, until such time that sufficient evidence has been generated to support widespread implementation.

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