Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Is a Mass Prevention and Control Program for Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Good Value for Money? Evidence from the Chinese Experience

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Is a Mass Prevention and Control Program for Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Good Value for Money? Evidence from the Chinese Experience

Article excerpt

Abstract

Background: In order to provide guidance on the efficient allocation of health resources when handling public health emergencies in the future, the study evaluated the H1N1 influenza prevention and control program in Hubei Province of China using cost-benefit analysis.

Methods: The costs measured the resources consumed and other expenses incurred in the prevention and control of H1N1. The assumed benefits include resource consumption and economic losses which could be avoided by the measures for the prevention and control of H1N1. The benefit was evaluated by counterfactual thinking, which estimates the resource consumption and economic losses could be happened without any measures for the prevention and control, which have been avoided after measures were taken to prevent and control H1N1 in Hubei Province, these constitutes the benefit of this project.

Results: The total costs of this program were 38.81 million U.S. dollars, while the total benefit was assessed as 203.71 million U.S. dollars. The net benefit was 164.9 million U.S. dollars with a cost-effectiveness ratio of 1:5.25.

Conclusions: The joint prevention and control strategy introduced by Hubei for H1N1 influenza is costeffective.

Keywords: H1N1 influenza, Prevention and control, Cost-benefit

Introduction

The H1N1 influenza is a type of acute respiratory infection caused by a new mutant of swine influenza virus (SIV). It causes an immune response in humans similar to the influenza pandemic of 1918 which took the lives of some 20 million people (1).The emergence of H1N1 has had a serious impact on human health and economy internationally. From May 12th 2009, the day when the first reported cases of H1N1 influenza were diagnosed in China until, to the end of December 2009, 121843 people in total were diagnosed and 645 people died from H1N1 influenza in 31 provinces of mainland China. The incidence rate and mortality rate were 9.17/100,000 and 0.05/100,000 respectively (2).

Since the outbreak Chinese governments at each level have paid great attention to managing the risks associated with H1N1 influenza. They have devoted a huge amount of human, material and financial resources to implement evidence based policies, effective prevention and uniform standardized treatment. From the perspective of health economics, to handle public health emergencies or major infectious disease in a more economical way and to allot and use the limited health resource rationally so as to Improve the efficiency in the use of health resources in the future, it was very necessary to conduct a health economic evaluation on the H1N1 influenza prevention and control program, especially the cost-benefit analysis.

Since the outbreak of H1N1 influenza in 2009, the public health implications quickly became a common concern of the world. However, the studies on H1N1 influenza were mainly in these respects like transmission, disease impact, vaccine, virus testing methods and epidemiological analysis. While the related research from the perspective of health economic evaluation of H1N1 influenza prevention and control measures was scarce. The remaining studies were either just a health economic evaluation of vaccination, for example, Professor Zhao Gen-ming conducted a cost-benefit analysis of H1N1 vaccination in Shanghai, and found that the cost-benefit ratio was 1:1.6(3), or a health economic analysis and evaluation of joint prevention and control measures at the initial stages of the outbreak, for example, Professor Zhao Kun in China Health Economics Institute of the Ministry of Health conducted a cost-benefit analysis of joint prevention and control measures for H1N1 from April 25th to June 10th in mainland China, and found that the cost-benefit ratio in this period was 1: 10.08, and illustrated the these measures were cost-effective (4). Up to date, there has been no systematic cost-benefit analysis of H1N1 prevention and control, which would affect the scientific and reasonable evaluation on the effective of H1N1 prevention and control. …

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