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Epidemics ; 41: 100648, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2095324


OBJECTIVES: Disease transmission models are used in impact assessment and economic evaluations of infectious disease prevention and treatment strategies, prominently so in the COVID-19 response. These models rarely consider dimensions of equity relating to the differential health burden between individuals and groups. We describe concepts and approaches which are useful when considering equity in the priority setting process, and outline the technical choices concerning model structure, outputs, and data requirements needed to use transmission models in analyses of health equity. METHODS: We reviewed the literature on equity concepts and approaches to their application in economic evaluation and undertook a technical consultation on how equity can be incorporated in priority setting for infectious disease control. The technical consultation brought together health economists with an interest in equity-informative economic evaluation, ethicists specialising in public health, mathematical modellers from various disease backgrounds, and representatives of global health funding and technical assistance organisations, to formulate key areas of consensus and recommendations. RESULTS: We provide a series of recommendations for applying the Reference Case for Economic Evaluation in Global Health to infectious disease interventions, comprising guidance on 1) the specification of equity concepts; 2) choice of evaluation framework; 3) model structure; and 4) data needs. We present available conceptual and analytical choices, for example how correlation between different equity- and disease-relevant strata should be considered dependent on available data, and outline how assumptions and data limitations can be reported transparently by noting key factors for consideration. CONCLUSIONS: Current developments in economic evaluations in global health provide a wide range of methodologies to incorporate equity into economic evaluations. Those employing infectious disease models need to use these frameworks more in priority setting to accurately represent health inequities. We provide guidance on the technical approaches to support this goal and ultimately, to achieve more equitable health policies.

BMJ Global Health ; 7:A35, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1968281


Objective The health systems costs of COVID-19 are high in many countries, including Pakistan. Without increases in fiscal space, COVID-19 interventions are likely to displace other activities within the health system. We reflect on the inclusion of COVID-19 interventions in Pakistan's Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) and, from a financial optimisation perspective, propose which interventions should be displaced to ensure the highest possible overall health utility within budgetary constraints. Methods We estimated the costs of all 88 interventions currently included in the EPHS and collected published data on their cost-effectiveness. We also estimated total costs and costeffectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in Pakistan. We ranked all EPHS interventions and COVID-19 vaccination by costeffectiveness, determining which interventions are comparatively least cost-effective and, in the absence of additional funding, no longer affordable. Results The EPHS assumes a spending per capita of US $12.96, averting 40.36 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). From a financial optimisation perspective, and assuming no additional funds, the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine (US$3 per dose) should displace 8 interventions out of the EPHS, making the EPHS more cost-effective by averting 40.62 million DALYs. A US$6 dose should displace a further intervention and avert 40.56 million DALYs. A US$10 dose would partially fall out of the package, displacing four additional interventions. If health spending per capita decreased to US$8, a US$3 dose would still be affordable, but not US$6 or US$10 doses. Discussion Cost-effectiveness is only one criterion considered when deciding which interventions are included in (or removed from) a health benefits package. While displacing certain interventions to create fiscal space for the COVID-19 vaccine may lead to a financially optimal scenario, doing so may be politically unfeasible or socially undesirable. We highlight the difficult trade-offs that health systems face in the era of COVID-19.

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis ; 26(3): 285-287, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707991
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis ; 25(6): 436-446, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1248353


Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, models predicted hundreds of thousands of additional TB deaths as a result of health service disruption. To date, empirical evidence on the effects of COVID-19 on TB outcomes has been limited. Here we summarise the evidence available at a country level, identifying broad mechanisms by which COVID-19 may modify TB burden and mitigation efforts. From the data, it is clear that there have been substantial disruptions to TB health services and an increase in vulnerability to TB. Evidence for changes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission is limited, and it remains unclear how the resources required and available for the TB response have changed. To advocate for additional funding to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the global TB burden, and to efficiently allocate resources for the TB response, requires a significant improvement in the TB data available.

COVID-19 , Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2