Economic Cost of Community-Based Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition in a Rural District in Ghana


Background: The community based management of severe acute malnutrition (CMAM) was introduced in Ghana in 2008 to manage cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) recorded at the community level. This study estimated the economic cost of the CMAM programme for children under-five in the Agona west municipality of Ghana. Methods: A retrospective cross sectional study that used a cost analysis design was employed to estimate the economic cost of the programme from the societal perspective. Household cost data from caregivers were obtained using a semi-structured questionnaire. That of programme cost data was obtained from document reviews as well as the use of semi-structured questionnaires and subsequent discussions with key personnel of the Ghana Health Service, Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance and UNICEF. One and multi-way sensitivity analyses were conducted to test how sensitive the cost estimates are to certain variations in the cost profiles. Results: The economic household cost of CMAM was estimated as $1905.32 ($47.63 per household) of which 79% was attributed to direct cost while the remaining 21% made up indirect cost. Programme economic cost of CMAM was estimated as $27633.5 (96% recurrent and 4% capital), with refresher training constituting majority of the cost (34%). The constituents of the total economic cost of the programme, estimated as $32214.56 are programme cost (86%), household costs (6%) and community volunteer cost (8%). Therefore, the economic cost of treating one SAM case using the CMAM protocol was estimated as $805.36. Conclusion: Although CMAM has proven to be an effective tool for the management of SAM, its associated costs are quite enormous when coverage levels (geographic) are high yet small number of cases are detected and treated. Therefore, it is prudent to implement several cost saving strategies such as a reduction in the number of days spent on trainings in order to reduce these costs.

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Abdul-Latif, A. and Nonvignon, J. (2014) Economic Cost of Community-Based Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition in a Rural District in Ghana. Health, 6, 886-889. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.610112.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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