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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 136  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-73

Direct costs of hospitalization for rotavirus gastroenteritis in different health facilities in India


1 Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
2 Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
3 Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Rotavirus Department, National Institute of Virology (ICMR), Pune, India
5 Department of Virology, National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases (ICMR), Kolkata, India
6 Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Gagandeep Kang
Professor of Microbiology, Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632 004
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background & objectives: Diarrhoeal disease is the fifth leading cause of all mortality globally. To this burden, rotavirus contributes over half a million deaths annually. This pilot study was conducted to determine the economic burden of diarrhoeal episodes on families from different geographical regions accessing medical facilities in India. Methods: Participants were enrolled from four study sites with eight reporting hospitals, categorized as non-profit and low cost, private and government facilities between November 2008 and February 2009. Questionnaires detailing healthcare utilization, medical and non-medical expenditure and lost income were completed by families of children < 5 yr of age hospitalized for gastroenteritis. All available faecal samples were tested for rotavirus. Results: A total of 211 patients were enrolled. The mean total cost of a hospitalized diarrhoeal episode was ` 3633 (US$ 66.05) for all facilities, with a marked difference in direct costs between governmental and non-governmental facilities. Costs for rotavirus positive hospitalizations were slightly lower, at ` 2956 (US$ 53.75). The median cost of a diarrhoeal episode based on annual household expenditure was 6.4 per cent for all-cause diarrhoea and 7.6 per cent for rotavirus diarrhoea. Of the 124 samples collected, 66 (53%) were positive for rotavirus. Interpretation & conclusions: Data on direct costs alone from multiple facilities show that diarrhoeal disease constitutes a large economic burden on Indian families. Affordable, effective vaccines would greatly reduce the economic burden of severe gastroenteritis on patients, families and the government.


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