What Does it Cost to Treat a COVID-19 Patient in Kenya?

In a recently published policy brief, Dr. Edwine Barasa and Dr. Angela Kairu costed the case management of COVID-19 patients from a health system perspective.

Key messages from the policy brief

• Per patient COVID-19 case management costs in hospitals are substantial ranging from KES 21,359   per day for asymptomatic patients, KES 21,361 per day for patients with mild symptoms, KES 24,705 for patients with severe disease and KES 51,684 for critical COVID-19 patients in ICU’s

• There is therefore an urgent need to develop a sustainable financing arrangement for COVID-19 for the country
• If these costs are passed on to patients to pay out of pocket, they will result in significant catastrophe and impoverishment
• It is imperative therefore for the country to develop a prepayment mechanism to provide financial risk protection to patients and households against the financial hardship that they will face if required to pay for COVID-19 case management costs out of pocket
• Per patient health system costs for COVID-19 case management are driven by PPE costs which accounts for approximately 65% of total costs
• Interventions to reduce PPE costs will improve the affordability of COVID-19 case management
• Home based care for asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients is 9 times cheaper to the health system compared to institutional care (hospitals or isolation centers)
• Institutional care is driven by PPE, accommodation & overhead (hotel) costs, and staff costs
• The cost savings from home care should however be weighed against feasibility of home-based care and resultant impact on health outcomes (for COVID-19 patients, and transmission risk)

This brief was prepared by Dr. Edwine Barasa and Dr. Angela Kairu and supported by funding from the International Decision Support Initiative (IDSI).
Queries should be directed to ebarasa@kemri-wellcome.org