Best Buy in Public Health or Luxury Expense?: The Cost-effectiveness of a Pediatric Operating Room in Uganda From the Societal Perspective.


In Uganda, the implementation of a dedicated pediatric OR has an ICER of $37.25 per disability adjusted life year averted or $3321 per life saved, compared with no existing operating room. The ICER is well below multiple cost-effectiveness thresholds including one times the country's gross domestic product per capita ($694). The ICER remained robust under 1-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.

To determine the cost-effectiveness of building and maintaining a dedicated pediatric operating room (OR) in Uganda from the societal perspective.

In this economic model, we used a decision tree template to compare the intervention of a dedicated pediatric OR in Uganda for a year versus the absence of a pediatric OR. Costs were included from the government, charity, and patient perspectives. OR and ward case-log informed epidemiological and patient outcomes data, and measured cost per disability adjusted life year averted and cost per life saved. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was calculated between the intervention and counterfactual scenario. Costs are reported in 2015 US$ and inflated by 5.5%.

Despite the heavy burden of pediatric surgical disease in low-income countries, definitive treatment is limited as surgical infrastructure is inadequate to meet the need, leading to preventable morbidity and mortality in children.

Our model ICER suggests that the construction and maintenance of a dedicated pediatric operating room in sub-Saharan Africa is very-cost effective if hospital space and personnel pre-exist to staff the facility. This supports infrastructure implementation for surgery in sub-Saharan Africa as a worthwhile investment.

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