The economic burden of measles in children under five in Uganda

Gatien De Broucker, Anthony Ssebagereka, Rebecca Racheal Apolot, Mutebi Aloysius, Elizabeth Ekirapa Kiracho, Bryan Patenaude, Dagna Constenla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: There is very limited evidence about the economic cost of measles in low-income countries. We estimated the cost of treating measles in Uganda from a societal perspective. Methods: We conducted an incidence-based cost-of-illness study in Uganda. We surveyed the facility staff, recording hospital-related expenditures for measles patients. We interviewed caregivers of children with measles at 48 selected healthcare facilities. We conducted phone interviews with caregivers 7–14 days post-discharge to capture additional out-of-pocket expenses and time costs. Results: From a societal perspective, a hospitalized and an ambulatory episode of measles cost 2018 US$ 60 and $15, respectively. The government spent on average $12 and $5 per hospitalized and ambulatory episode of measles. Including both public and private facilities, caregivers incurred approximately $44 in economic costs, including $23 in out-of-pocket expenses. In 2018, 2614 cases of measles were confirmed, resulting in $135,627 in societal costs, including $59,357 in economic costs to Ugandan households. Conclusion: This cost-of-illness study is the first to use empirical methods to quantify the economic burden of measles in a low-income country. Information related to the cost of treating measles is important for guiding decisions related to changes in measles control and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100077
JournalVaccine: X
StatePublished - Dec 11 2020


  • Cost-of-illness
  • Economic benefit of immunization
  • Economic burden
  • Measles
  • Outbreak
  • Uganda
  • Vaccine-preventable disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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