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BackgroundCase management of symptomatic COVID-19 patients is a key health system intervention. The Kenyan government embarked to fill capacity gaps in essential and advanced critical care (ACC) needed for the management of severe and critical COVID-19. However, given scarce resources, gaps in both essential and ACC persist. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of investments in essential and ACC to inform the prioritisation of investment decisions.MethodsWe employed a decision tree model to assess the incremental cost-effectiveness of investment in essential care (EC) and investment in both essential and ACC (EC +ACC) compared with current healthcare provision capacity (status quo) for COVID-19 patients in Kenya. We used a health system perspective, and an inpatient care episode time horizon. Cost data were obtained from primary empirical analysis while outcomes data were obtained from epidemiological model estimates. We used univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analysis to assess the robustness of the results.ResultsThe status quo option is more costly and less effective compared with investment in EC and is thus dominated by the later. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of investment in essential and ACC (EC+ACC) was US$1378.21 per disability-adjusted life-year averted and hence not a cost-effective strategy when compared with Kenya's cost-effectiveness threshold (US$908).ConclusionWhen the criterion of cost-effectiveness is considered, and within the context of resource scarcity, Kenya will achieve better value for money if it prioritises investments in EC before investments in ACC. This information on cost-effectiveness will however need to be considered as part of a multicriteria decision-making framework that uses a range of criteria that reflect societal values of the Kenyan society.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007168

Type

Journal

BMJ global health

Publication Date

12/2021

Volume

6

Addresses

Health Economics Research Unit (HERU), KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi, Kenya akairu@kemri-wellcome.org.