As well as imposing an economic burden on affected households, the high costs related to tuberculosis (TB) can create access and adherence barriers. This highlights the particular urgency of achieving one of the End TB Strategy’s targets: that no TB-affected households have to face catastrophic costs by 2020. In Indonesia, as elsewhere, there is also an emerging need to provide social protection by implementing universal health coverage (UHC). We therefore assessed the incidence of catastrophic total costs due to TB, and their determinants since the implementation of UHC.
We interviewed adult TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients in urban, suburban and rural areas of Indonesia who had been treated for at least one month or had finished treatment no more than one month earlier. Following the WHO recommendation, we assessed the incidence of catastrophic total costs due to TB. We also analyzed the sensitivity of incidence relative to several thresholds, and measured differences between poor and non-poor households in the incidence of catastrophic costs. Generalized linear mixed-model analysis was used to identify determinants of the catastrophic total costs.
We analyzed 282 TB and 64 MDR-TB patients. For TB-related services, the median (interquartile range) of total costs incurred by households was 133 USD (55–576); for MDR-TB-related services, it was 2804 USD (1008–4325). The incidence of catastrophic total costs in all TB-affected households was 36% (43% in poor households and 25% in non-poor households). For MDR-TB-affected households, the incidence was 83% (83% and 83%). In TB-affected households, the determinants of catastrophic total costs were poor households (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.7, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7–7.8); being a breadwinner (aOR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.3–6.6); job loss (aOR = 21.2; 95% CI: 8.3–53.9); and previous TB treatment (aOR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.4–6.1). In MDR-TB-affected households, having an income-earning job before diagnosis was the only determinant of catastrophic total costs (aOR = 8.7; 95% CI: 1.8–41.7).
Despite the implementation of UHC, TB-affected households still risk catastrophic total costs and further impoverishment. As well as ensuring access to healthcare, a cost-mitigation policy and additional financial protection should be provided to protect the poor and relieve income losses.
Fuady, A., Houweling, T.A.J., Mansyur, M. et al. Catastrophic total costs in tuberculosis-affected households and their determinants since Indonesia’s implementation of universal health coverage. Infect Dis Poverty 7, 3 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-017-0382-3
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