Survivors of bacterial meningitis risk lifelong sequelae. In economic evaluations of vaccines protecting against meningitis, treatment and productivity costs due to meningitis sequelae are rarely included in studies from low-income countries, mainly due to lack of data. The aim of this study was to estimate the costs of meningitis sequelae in children in Senegal from the perspective of households.Methods:
Children who had suffered from bacterial meningitis were identified from a database at Albert Royer Hospital in Dakar. Sixty-eight children were located at their home and caregivers interviewed about costs during the acute meningitis episode and due to meningitis sequelae, including productivity loss from caring for a disabled child. Lifetime costs were predicted by assuming a life expectancy of 30 years for disabled children.Results:
Seventy-one percent of the children had either minor or major sequelae. Mean discounted lifetime sequelae costs amounted to US$ 34,895 (95% confidence interval: US$ 67–96,755) per child. Discounted childcare costs amounted to US$ 3158 (9%), treatment costs US$ 460 (1%) and productivity costs US$ 31,276 (90%). No children were receiving rehabilitation services by the time the study was conducted.Conclusion:
The present study is the first to present data on household costs from families with disabled children in a low-income country setting. Caring for a disabled child is a considerable financial as well as emotional burden for the individual family. None of the families could afford the treatment they desired for their child.