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A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of a Pediatric Operating Room in Uganda

      Abstract

      This study examines the cost-effectiveness of constructing a dedicated pediatric operating room (OR) in Uganda, a country where access to surgical care is limited to 4 pediatric surgeons serving a population of over 20 million children under 15 years of age.

      Methods

      A simulation model using a decision tree template was developed to project the cost and disability-adjusted life-years saved by a pediatric OR in a low-income setting. Parameters are informed by patient outcomes of the surgical procedures performed. Costs of the OR equipment and a literature review were used to calculate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of a pediatric OR. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analysis were performed to assess parameter uncertainty. Economic monetary benefit was calculated using the value of a statistical life approach.

      Results

      A pediatric OR averted a total of 6,447 disability-adjusted life-years /year (95% uncertainty interval 6,288–6,606) and cost $41,182/year (UI 40,539–41,825) in terms of OR installation. The pediatric operating room had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $6.39 per disability-adjusted life-year averted (95% uncertainty interval of 6.19-6.59), or $397.95 (95% uncertainty interval of 385.41-410.67) per life saved based on the country's average life expectancy in 2015. These values were well within the WHO guidelines of cost-effectiveness threshold. The net economic benefit amounted to $5,336,920 for a year of operation, or $16,371 per patient. The model remained robust with one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.

      Conclusion

      The construction of a pediatric operating room in Uganda is a cost-effective and worthwhile investment, endorsing future decisions to enhance pediatric surgical capacity in the resource-limited settings of Sub-Saharan Africa.
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