Cost-Effectiveness of On-Site Antenatal Screening to Prevent Congenital Syphilis in Rural Eastern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa


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Abstract

Objectives:On-site screening and same-day treatment of maternal syphilis in underresourced settings can avert greater numbers of congenital syphilis cases, but health outcomes and associated costs must be evaluated jointly.Methods:We used decision analysis to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of two on-site antenatal syphilis screening strategies to avert congenital infections—qualitative RPR (on-site RPR) and treponemal immunochromatographic strip assay (on-site ICS)—compared to the current practice (off-site RPR/TPHA).Findings:With antenatal active syphilis prevalence of 6.3%, the incremental cost-effectiveness of on-site ICS in averting congenital infections was estimated to be USD104, averting 82% of cases expected in absence of a program. The incremental cost-effectiveness of off-site RPR/TPHA was USD82 but would avert only 55% of congenital syphilis cases. On-site RPR was dominated by the other screening strategies.Conclusions:In settings of high maternal syphilis prevalence, on-site antenatal screening with ICS is a cost-effective approach to reduce the incidence of congenital syphilis.

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