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Patient costs of diabetes mellitus care in public health care facilities in Kenya

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the direct and indirect costs of diabetes mellitus care at five public health facilities in Kenya. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study in two counties where diabetes patients aged 18 years and above were interviewed. Data on care-seeking costs were obtained from 163 patients seeking diabetes care at five public facilities using the cost-of-illness approach. Medicines and user charges were classified as direct health care costs while expenses on transport, food, and accommodation were classified as direct non-health care costs. Productivity losses due to diabetes were classified as indirect costs. We computed annual direct and indirect costs borne by these patients. RESULTS: More than half (57.7%) of sampled patients had hypertension comorbidity. Overall, the mean annual direct patient cost was KES 53 907 (95% CI, 43 625.4-64 188.6) (US$ 528.5 [95% CI, 427.7-629.3]). Medicines accounted for 52.4%, transport 22.6%, user charges 17.5%, and food 7.5% of total direct costs. Overall mean annual indirect cost was KES 23 174 (95% CI, 20 910-25 438.8) (US$ 227.2 [95% CI, 205-249.4]). Patients reporting hypertension comorbidity incurred higher costs compared with diabetes-only patients. The incidence of catastrophic costs was 63.1% (95% CI, 55.7-70.7) and increased to 75.4% (95% CI, 68.3-82.1) when transport costs were included. CONCLUSION: There are substantial direct and indirect costs borne by diabetic patients in seeking care from public facilities in Kenya. High incidence of catastrophic costs suggests diabetes services are unaffordable to majority of diabetic patients and illustrate the urgent need to improve financial risk protection to ensure access to care.
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The Clinical Profile of Severe Pediatric Malaria in an Area Targeted for Routine RTS,S/AS01 Malaria Vaccination in Western Kenya

BACKGROUND: The malaria prevalence has declined in western Kenya, resulting in the risk of neurological phenotypes in older children. This study investigates the clinical profile of pediatric malaria admissions ahead of the introduction of the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine. METHODS: Malaria admissions in children aged 1 month to 15 years were identified from routine, standardized, inpatient clinical surveillance data collected between 2015 and 2018 from 4 hospitals in western Kenya. Malaria phenotypes were defined based on available data. RESULTS: There were 5766 malaria admissions documented. The median age was 36 months (interquartile range, 18-60): 15% were aged between 1-11 months of age, 33% were aged 1-23 months of age, and 70% were aged 1 month to 5 years. At admission, 2340 (40.6%) children had severe malaria: 421/2208 (19.1%) had impaired consciousness, 665/2240 (29.7%) had an inability to drink or breastfeed, 317/2340 (13.6%) had experienced 2 or more convulsions, 1057/2340 (45.2%) had severe anemia, and 441/2239 (19.7%) had severe respiratory distress. Overall, 211 (3.7%) children admitted with malaria died; 163/211 (77% deaths, case fatality rate 7.0%) and 48/211 (23% deaths, case fatality rate 1.4%) met the criteria for severe malaria and nonsevere malaria at admission, respectively. The median age for fatal cases was 33 months (interquartile range, 12-72) and the case fatality rate was highest in those unconscious (44.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Severe malaria in western Kenya is still predominantly seen among the younger pediatric age group and current interventions targeted for those <5 years are appropriate. However, there are increasing numbers of children older than 5 years admitted with malaria, and ongoing hospital surveillance would identify when interventions should target older children.
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