Cost Burden of Post Stroke Condition in Nigeria: A Pilot Study

  •  Bridget Birabi    
  •  Kayode Oke    
  •  Paul Dienye    
  •  Udoka Okafor    


Aim: Estimation of cost burden of a disease condition is a very important part of health care policy making worldwide. Till now, such documents are lacking especially on non-communicable diseases in the health policy making process in Nigeria. This article therefore attempts to report the results of a prospective cross-sectional study on the cost burden of a cerebrovascular accident condition (stroke) in Nigeria. It estimates the direct health care cost for a minimum period of 12weeks and maximum of 36weeks for post stroke hemiplegia.

Study Design/Setting: It was a collaborative cross-sectional study amongst centers situated in urban and sub-urban environments in Southern Nigeria. It involved a hospital of an Oil and Gas Company in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, two Government tertiary hospitals in Port Harcourt and Benin-City, all in South-South Nigeria, the industrial hub of the country. A Private Specialist hospital in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, the corporate hub of the country was also included.

Method: Patients diagnosed and admitted for management for cerebrovascular accident (stroke) in the above named health facilities formed the subjects of this study. Medical records (case files) of two hundred and forty (240) stroke patients managed within the last six years (2005- 2011) were randomly selected from the medical record departments of the study centers. Files of the patients who were admitted during acute care period (without discharge against medical advice) and were followed on out-patient basis without default within the study period were purposively utilized. The files were then assessed for the various investigations and treatment interventions of acute and long term care and the costs thereof. Ethical approval to access patients’ case files was sought and granted by the Research Ethics Committee of the different study centers.

Results: The results revealed that it requires an average of N95,100: 00 ($600  ) and N767,900: 00 ($4860)in a government and a private hospital, respectively to access care within the first 36weeks of post stroke affectation in Nigeria.

Conclusion: The outcome of this study suggests that managing stroke constitutes a huge direct cost burden unaffordable by an average Nigerian stroke sufferer. The implication is that   lack of means for rehabilitative care may result in disability adjusted life years which further compounds burdens in terms of indirect cost on the sufferers’ and care givers’ productivity. It is therefore recommended that awareness of this disorder is created by policy makers and implementers where it does not exist and increased where it does with health promotion and preventive measures.

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