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Open Access Research article

Cost and disease burden of Dengue in Cambodia

Julien Beauté* and Sirenda Vong

Author Affiliations

Epidemiology and Public Health Unit, Institut Pasteur in Cambodia, Bd Monivong, 5, BP 983 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:521  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-521

Published: 31 August 2010



Dengue is endemic in Cambodia (pop. estimates 14.4 million), a country with poor health and economic indicators. Disease burden estimates help decision makers in setting priorities. Using recent estimates of dengue incidence in Cambodia, we estimated the cost of dengue and its burden using disability adjusted life years (DALYs).


Recent population-based cohort data were used to calculate direct and productive costs, and DALYs. Health seeking behaviors were taken into account in cost estimates. Specific age group incidence estimates were used in DALYs calculation.


The mean cost per dengue case varied from US$36 - $75 over 2006-2008 respectively, resulting in an overall annual cost from US$3,327,284 in 2008 to US$14,429,513 during a large epidemic in 2007. Patients sustain the highest share of costs by paying an average of 78% of total costs and 63% of direct medical costs. DALY rates per 100,000 individuals ranged from 24.3 to 100.6 in 2007-2008 with 80% on average due to premature mortality.


Our analysis confirmed the high societal and individual family burden of dengue. Total costs represented between 0.03 and 0.17% of Gross Domestic Product. Health seeking behavior has a major impact on costs. The more accurate estimate used in this study will better allow decision makers to account for dengue costs particularly among the poor when balancing the benefits of introducing a potentially effective dengue vaccine.