Cross-sectional study of morbidity, morbidity-associated factors and cost of treatment in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, with implications for health policy in developing countries and development assistance policyReport as inadecuate




Cross-sectional study of morbidity, morbidity-associated factors and cost of treatment in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, with implications for health policy in developing countries and development assistance policy - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

BMC International Health and Human Rights

, 2:2

First Online: 15 April 2002Received: 25 September 2001Accepted: 15 April 2002DOI: 10.1186-1472-698X-2-2

Cite this article as: Holtedahl, K. & Hurum, H. BMC Int Health Hum Rights 2002 2: 2. doi:10.1186-1472-698X-2-2

Abstract

BackgroundIn a population-based epidemiological study in Ngaoundere, Cameroon, we studied cross-sectional child morbidity and the cost of necessary investigation and treatment.

MethodsThree teams of two to three health workers visited haphazardly selected households in all major housing quarters. We asked permission to enter for a health survey. Children with cough, fever or weight loss as well as sick adults were offered free-of-charge local hospital examination and treatment.

ResultsFrom 177 households with 1777 persons, 51 2.9% persons were referred. Thirty-five of them had an undiagnosed disease threatening individual health and in many cases also public health. Seven were hospitalised, including three adults with tuberculosis. Malnutrition was diagnosed in nine small children. Four patients had AIDS, seven had malaria. Average total cost for ambulant patients was 15 USD, for hospitalised patients 110 USD.

In the households, almost half of the women 16–50 years of age had no schooling. Two per cent of women and nine per cent of men were daily smokers. Coughing children were more likely than non-coughing children to live in a household with at least one smoker OR = 3.58, 95% CI 1.72 to 7.46, and they generally lived in more poor households P = 0.018. Twelve of 16 children with weight loss were referred from households with a high poverty score.

ConclusionsAdult smoking and poverty affect children-s health. The cost of hospitalisation or long-lasting therapy is beyond the means of most ordinary families. Diseases with severe consequences for public health, like tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria should have national programs with free, decentralised examination and treatment. Access to generic drugs is important. A major educational effort is needed to improve public health.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-698X-2-2 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Download fulltext PDF



Author: Knut Holtedahl - Harald Hurum

Source: https://link.springer.com/







Related documents