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- Published Oct 24, 2023
Economic Burden Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) In Uganda: A Cost-Of-Illness Analysis
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic disease that requires continuous medical care and management which consumes significant resources, especially when compounded with complications. This study aimed to estimate the total direct economic costs of managing and treating T2DM in Uganda from both a public and private healthcare perspective. The analysis used estimates the economic burden of diabetes by applying a cost-of-illness (COI) approach by estimating the 2022 direct medical cost related to cost areas such as diabetes diagnosis and control or treatment of diabetes and its associated complications.
Diagnosed T2DM management and treatment costs in public and private facilities are high, even with a high prevalence of undiagnosed cases. In 2022, up to UGX 2.2 trillion was spent, on medication, treatment and management of complications. Households bear the largest financial burden (UGX 1.7 trillion). On the other hand, government expenditure of UGX435 billion on diagnosed T2DM patients accounted for 13% of the MoH budget. Oral medications and outpatient appointments were the main cost drivers for treating T2DM without complications. At the same time, diabetic eye treatment of laser and cataract type, haemodialysis, and strokes drove the costs of T2DM-related complications high.
Given this, emphasis must be on spreading knowledge about T2DM and, more significantly, developing prevention programs. This can be done through improved planning and prioritisation for diabetes, with particular attention to subsiding the direct economic costs of medications (insulin and oral drugs), Investing in creating national awareness and prevention programs as well as early screening to save on healthcare costs and improve the health outcomes of the Ugandan population.
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