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Schutte C.,Strategic Development Consultants | Chansa C.,The World Bank | Marinda E.,Health and Development Africa Pty Ltd. | Guthrie T.A.,Center For Economic Governance and in Africa | And 6 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2015

BackgroundThis study aimed to inform planning and funding by providing updated, detailed information on total and unit costs of routine immunisation (RI) in Zambia, a GAVI-eligible lower middle-income country with a population of 13 million. MethodsThe exercise was part of a multi-country study on costs and financing of routine immunisation (EPIC) that utilized a common, ingredients-based approach to costing. Data on inputs, prices and outputs were collected in a stratified, random sample of 51 facilities in nine districts between December 2012 and March 2013 using a pre-tested questionnaire. Shared inputs were allocated to RI costs on the basis of tracing factors developed for the study. A comprehensive set of costs were analysed to obtain total and unit costs, at facility and above-facility levels. ResultsThe total annual economic cost of RI was $38.16 million, equivalent to approximately 10% of government health spending. Government contributed 83% of finances. Labour accounted for the lion's share (49%) of total costs followed by vaccines (16%) and travel allowances (12%). Analysis of specific activity costs showed that outreach and facility-based services accounted for half of total economic costs. Costs for managing the program at district, provincial and national levels (above-facility costs) represented 24% of total costs. Average unit costs were $7.18 per dose, $59.32 per infant and $65.89 per DPT3 immunised child, with markedly higher unit costs in rural facilities. Analyses suggest that greater efficiency is associated with higher utilisation levels and urban facility type. ConclusionsTotal and unit costs, and government's contribution, were considerably higher than previous Zambian estimates and international benchmarks. These findings have substantial implications for planners, efficiency improvement and sustainable financing, particularly as new vaccines are introduced. Variations in immunisation costs at facility level warrant further statistical analyses. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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