Cover: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Community Health Workers in Mozambique

A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Community Health Workers in Mozambique

Published in: Journal of Primary Care and Community Health, 2015

Posted on rand.org Apr 24, 2015

by Diana Bowser, Adeyemi Okunogbe, Elizabeth Oliveras, Laura Subramanian, Tyler Morrill

INTRODUCTION: Community health worker (CHW) programs are a key strategy for reducing mortality and morbidity. Despite this, there is a gap in the literature on the cost and cost-effectiveness of CHW programs, especially in developing countries. METHODS: This study assessed the costs of a CHW program in Mozambique over the period 2010-2012. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, comparing the change in costs to the change in 3 output measures, as well as gains in efficiency were calculated over the periods 2010-2011 and 2010-2012. The results were reported both excluding and including salaries for CHWs. RESULTS: The results of the study showed total costs of the CHW program increased from US$1.34 million in 2010 to US$1.67 million in 2012. The highest incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was for the cost per beneficiary covered including CHW salaries, estimated at US$47.12 for 2010-2011. The smallest incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was for the cost per household visit not including CHW salaries, estimated at US$0.09 for 2010-2012. Adding CHW salaries would not only have increased total program costs by 362% in 2012 but also led to the largest efficiency gains in program implementation; a 56% gain in cost per output in the long run as compared with the short run after including CHW salaries. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings can be used to inform future CHW program policy both in Mozambique and in other countries, as well as provide a set of incremental cost per output measures to be used in benchmarking to other CHW costing analyses.

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.