Journal Article

Costs for Households and Community Perception of Meningitis Epidemics in Burkina Faso

Anaïs Colombini, Fernand Bationo, Sylvie Zongo, Fatoumata Ouattara, Ousmane Badolo, Philippe Jaillard, Emmanuel Seini, Bradford D. Gessner and Alfred Da Silva

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 49, issue 10, pages 1520-1525
Published in print November 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/644623
Costs for Households and Community Perception of Meningitis Epidemics in Burkina Faso

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Bacterial meningitis in the African meningitis belt remains 1 of the most serious threats to health. The perceptions regarding meningitis in local populations and the cost of illness for households are not well described. We conducted an anthropologic and economic study in Burkina Faso, in the heart of the meningitis belt. Respondents reported combining traditional and modern beliefs regarding disease etiology, which in turn influenced therapeutic care-seeking behavior. Households spent US $90 per meningitis case, or 34% of the annual gross domestic product per capita, and up to US $154 more when meningitis sequelae occurred. Much of this cost was attributable to direct medical expenses, which in theory are paid by the government. Preventive immunization against meningitis will overcome limitations imposed by traditional beliefs and contribute to poverty reduction goals.

Journal Article.  3468 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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