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Seasonal variations of household costs of illness in Burkina Faso

Author

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  • Sauerborn, R.
  • Nougtara, A.
  • Hien, M.
  • Diesfeld, H. J.

Abstract

This paper assesses the seasonal variations of the time and financial costs of illness for rural households in Burkina Faso. It is based on a multiple round survey of 566 households, which included a time allocation study. The economic parameters of households which influence health seeking behavior changed substantially between the dry and rainy seasons: revenues fell in the rainy season and were exceeded by expenditures. Household production was at its peak in the rainy season resulting in significantly higher opportunity costs of time. At the same time illness perception changed: in the rainy season, significantly fewer illness episodes were perceived, and of those, the proportion perceived as severe decreased over-proportionally. Households shifted their healer choice in the rainy season away from high cost treatment, such as the hospital and dispensary, to low cost home treatment. For all these reasons, households incurred significantly fewer costs of illness in the rainy season (27% of dry season costs). Household health care expenditures were reduced to 1/6 of dry season levels, the time costs incurred by healthy household members to tend to the sick was reduced to 1/5 and the time costs of work incapacity due to sickness fell to about 1/2 of dry season levels. The authors stress the need to carry out research in all relevant seasons when studying health seeking behavior and the household costs of illness in order to avoid serious seasonal bias. They suggest policy options to increase health care utilization in the rainy season by reducing the financial and time costs of access to health care. Finally, the authors put forward a hypothesis to be tested by future research: They argue that the cognitive (changes in illness perception) and behavioral changes (different health care seeking) reflect the high opportunity costs of time and the low availability of cash households face during the rainy season. The paper discusses the negative implication that untreated illness has on the health status of household members.

Suggested Citation

  • Sauerborn, R. & Nougtara, A. & Hien, M. & Diesfeld, H. J., 1996. "Seasonal variations of household costs of illness in Burkina Faso," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 281-290, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:43:y:1996:i:3:p:281-290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jane Chuma & Catherine Molyneux, 2009. "Coping with the costs of illness: the role of shops and shopkeepers as social networks in a low-income community in coastal Kenya," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 252-270.
    2. Dong, Hengjin & Kouyate, Bocar & Cairns, John & Sauerborn, Rainer, 2005. "Inequality in willingness-to-pay for community-based health insurance," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 149-156, May.
    3. Axel Demenet, 2016. "Health Shocks and Permanent Income Loss: the Household Business Channel," Working Papers DT/2016/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Storeng, Katerini Tagmatarchi & Baggaley, Rebecca F. & Ganaba, Rasmané & Ouattara, Fatoumata & Akoum, Mélanie S. & Filippi, Véronique, 2008. "Paying the price: The cost and consequences of emergency obstetric care in Burkina Faso," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 545-557, February.
    5. Prof. Purusottam Nayak & Prof. S.K. Mishra, 2005. "Gender And Sustainable Development In Mining Sector In India," General Economics and Teaching 0509014, EconWPA.
    6. Pokhrel, Subhash, 2007. "Determinants of parental reports of children's illnesses: Empirical evidence from Nepal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1106-1117, September.
    7. Dong, Hengjin & De Allegri, Manuela & Gnawali, Devendra & Souares, Aurélia & Sauerborn, Rainer, 2009. "Drop-out analysis of community-based health insurance membership at Nouna, Burkina Faso," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(2-3), pages 174-179, October.
    8. Tin Su & Steffen Flessa, 2013. "Determinants of household direct and indirect costs: an insight for health-seeking behaviour in Burkina Faso," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(1), pages 75-84, February.
    9. Robyn, Paul Jacob & Bärnighausen, Till & Souares, Aurélia & Traoré, Adama & Bicaba, Brice & Sié, Ali & Sauerborn, Rainer, 2014. "Provider payment methods and health worker motivation in community-based health insurance: A mixed-methods study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 223-236.
    10. repec:ilo:ilowps:375955 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Pouliot, Mariève, 2011. "Relying on nature’s pharmacy in rural Burkina Faso: Empirical evidence of the determinants of traditional medicine consumption," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1498-1507.
    12. Su, Tin Tin & Sanon, Mamadou & Flessa, Steffen, 2007. "Assessment of indirect cost-of-illness in a subsistence farming society by using different valuation methods," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(2-3), pages 353-362, October.
    13. Ebere Akobundu & Jing Ju & Lisa Blatt & C. Mullins, 2006. "Cost-of-Illness Studies," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 24(9), pages 869-890, September.
    14. Hengjin Dong & Adjima Gbangou & Manuela Allegri & Subhash Pokhrel & Rainer Sauerborn, 2008. "The differences in characteristics between health-care users and non-users: implication for introducing community-based health insurance in Burkina Faso," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 9(1), pages 41-50, February.
    15. McIntyre, Diane & Thiede, Michael & Dahlgren, Göran & Whitehead, Margaret, 2006. "What are the economic consequences for households of illness and of paying for health care in low- and middle-income country contexts?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 858-865, February.
    16. Zombré, David & De Allegri, Manuela & Ridde, Valéry, 2017. "Immediate and sustained effects of user fee exemption on healthcare utilization among children under five in Burkina Faso: A controlled interrupted time-series analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 27-35.
    17. Rossouw Laura, 2015. "Poor Health Reporting: Do Poor South Africans Underestimate Their Health Needs?," WIDER Working Paper Series 027, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Edgeworth, Ross & Collins, Andrew E., 2006. "Self-care as a response to diarrhoea in rural Bangladesh: Empowered choice or enforced adoption?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(10), pages 2686-2697, November.
    19. Hengjin Dong & Bocar Kouyate & John Cairns & Frederick Mugisha & Rainer Sauerborn, 2003. "Willingness-to-pay for community-based insurance in Burkina Faso," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 849-862.
    20. Robyn, Paul Jacob & Fink, Günther & Sié, Ali & Sauerborn, Rainer, 2012. "Health insurance and health-seeking behavior: Evidence from a randomized community-based insurance rollout in rural Burkina Faso," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 595-603.
    21. Tin Su & Subhash Pokhrel & Adjima Gbangou & Steffen Flessa, 2006. "Determinants of household health expenditure on western institutional health care," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 7(3), pages 195-203, September.
    22. Fink, Günther & Robyn, Paul Jacob & Sié, Ali & Sauerborn, Rainer, 2013. "Does health insurance improve health?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1043-1056.
    23. Dong, Hengjin & Mugisha, Frederick & Gbangou, Adjima & Kouyate, Bocar & Sauerborn, Rainer, 2004. "The feasibility of community-based health insurance in Burkina Faso," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 45-53, July.

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