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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Title The costs of a sexually transmitted infection outreach and treatment programme targeting most at risk youth in Tajikistan
Volume 7
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Page numbers 19
URL http://www.resource-allocation.com/content/pdf/1478-7547-7-19.pdf
Targeted outreach, counselling, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are among the most cost-effective interventions aimed at ameliorating the burden of HIV/STIs. Since many new HIV infections occur in people under the age of 25, youth, and especially most at risk adolescents (MARA), need to be able to access HIV/STI services. Starting in 2006, a programme targeting MARA including outreach, confidential and voluntary counselling and testing, and STI diagnosis and treatment was piloted in three cities in Tajikistan. This study uses data from these pilot sites to estimate the costs of a national programme.

Cost data were collected from the three pilot sites. Then, the target population and the number of patients receiving specific types of services are calculated for other areas. The unit costs from the pilot sites are multiplied by usage rates to determine the total costs of a national programme. Scenarios were developed to reflect data uncertainty. The government's ability to finance the programme was estimated using Ministry of Health budget data. Further analyses were done for one of the pilot cities where more detailed data were available.

In total, costs were projected for eight programme sites, covering an estimated 8,020 MARA. Operational and variable cost for the programme are projected to be US$ 119,159 (range US$ 104,953 to 151,524) per year. Including annual equivalent cost for capital and start-up items raises this to US$ 137,082 (range: US$ 123,022 to 169,597) per year. The analyses of potential sources of financing for the programme remain inconclusive, but it may take multiple sources of financing to fund the programme.

While the cost-effectiveness of similar programmes have been previously assessed using modelled data, more work needs to be done to assess the costs of new programmes in relation to financial resources available. Full costing should consider cost-savings as well as expenditures. If feasible, the impact of the programme should be monitored over time.

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