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BackgroundDiarrhea is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among under-five children in Bangladesh. Hospitalization for diarrhea can pose a significant burden on households and health systems. The aim of this study was to estimate the cost of illness due to diarrhea from the healthcare facility, caregiver, and societal perspectives in Bangladesh.MethodA cross-sectional study with an ingredient-based costing approach was conducted in 48 healthcare facilities in Bangladesh. In total, 899 caregivers of under-five children with diarrhea were interviewed face-to-face between August 2017 and May 2018, followed up over phone after 7-14 days of discharge, to capture all expenses and time costs related to the entire episode of diarrhea.ResultsThe average cost per episode for caregivers was US$62, with $29 direct and $34 indirect costs. From the societal perspective, average cost per episode of diarrhea was $71. In 2018, an estimated $79 million of economic costs were incurred for treating diarrhea in Bangladesh. Using 10% of income as threshold, over 46% of interviewed households faced catastrophic expenditure from diarrheal disease.ConclusionThe economic costs incurred by caregivers for treating per-episode of diarrhea was around 4% of the annual national gross domestic product per-capita. Investment in vaccination can help to reduce the prevalence of diarrheal diseases and avert this public health burden.

Original publication





International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

Publication Date





37 - 46


International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b). Electronic address:


Humans, Diarrhea, Vaccination, Hospitalization, Cross-Sectional Studies, Family Characteristics, Public Health, Cost of Illness, Child, Preschool, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Caregivers, Income, Health Facilities, Health Expenditures, Bangladesh, Female, Male