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Open Access Research article

Impact of DOTS expansion on tuberculosis related outcomes and costs in Haiti

Vary Jacquet1, Willy Morose1, Kevin Schwartzman2, Olivia Oxlade2, Graham Barr3, Franque Grimard4 and Dick Menzies2*

Author Affiliations

1 National tuberculosis control programme, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

2 Respiratory Epidemiology Unit, Montreal Chest Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

3 Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

4 Department of Economics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

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BMC Public Health 2006, 6:209  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-209

Published: 15 August 2006

Abstract

Background

Implementation of the World Health Organization's DOTS strategy (Directly Observed Treatment Short-course therapy) can result in significant reduction in tuberculosis incidence. We estimated potential costs and benefits of DOTS expansion in Haiti from the government, and societal perspectives.

Methods

Using decision analysis incorporating multiple Markov processes (Markov modelling), we compared expected tuberculosis morbidity, mortality and costs in Haiti with DOTS expansion to reach all of the country, and achieve WHO benchmarks, or if the current situation did not change. Probabilities of tuberculosis related outcomes were derived from the published literature. Government health expenditures, patient and family costs were measured in direct surveys in Haiti and expressed in 2003 US$.

Results

Starting in 2003, DOTS expansion in Haiti is anticipated to cost $4.2 million and result in 63,080 fewer tuberculosis cases, 53,120 fewer tuberculosis deaths, and net societal savings of $131 million, over 20 years. Current government spending for tuberculosis is high, relative to the per capita income, and would be only slightly lower with DOTS. Societal savings would begin within 4 years, and would be substantial in all scenarios considered, including higher HIV seroprevalence or drug resistance, unchanged incidence following DOTS expansion, or doubling of initial and ongoing costs for DOTS expansion.

Conclusion

A modest investment for DOTS expansion in Haiti would provide considerable humanitarian benefit by reducing tuberculosis-related morbidity, mortality and costs for patients and their families. These benefits, together with projected minimal Haitian government savings, argue strongly for donor support for DOTS expansion.