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Parental costs for in-patient neonatal services for perinatal asphyxia and low birth weight in Ghana


  • Christabel C Enweronu-Laryea
  • Hilary D Andoh
  • Audrey Frimpong-Barfi
  • Francis M Asenso-Boadi


The major causes of newborn deaths in sub-Saharan Africa are well-known and countries are gradually implementing evidence-based interventions and strategies to reduce these deaths. Facility-based care provides the best outcome for sick and or small babies; however, little is known about the cost and burden of hospital-based neonatal services on parents in West Africa, the sub-region with the highest global neonatal death burden. To estimate the actual costs borne by parents of newborns hospitalised with birth-associated brain injury (perinatal asphyxia) and preterm/low birth weight, this study examined economic costs using micro-costing bottom-up approach in two referral hospitals operating under the nationwide social health insurance scheme in an urban setting in Ghana. We prospectively assessed the process of care and parental economic costs for 25 out of 159 cases of perinatal asphyxia and 33 out of 337 cases of preterm/low birth weight admitted to hospital on the day of birth over a 3 month period. Results showed that medical-related costs accounted for 66.1% (IQR 49% - 81%) of out-of-pocket payments irrespective of health insurance status. On average, families spent 8.1% and 9.1% of their annual income on acute care for preterm/LBW and perinatal asphyxia respectively. The mean out-of-pocket expenditure for preterm/LBW was $147.6 (median $101.8) and for perinatal asphyxia was $132.3 (median $124). The study revealed important gaps in the financing and organization of health service delivery that may impact the quality of care for hospitalised newborns. It also provides information for reviewing complementary health financing options for newborn services and further economic evaluations.

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  • Christabel C Enweronu-Laryea & Hilary D Andoh & Audrey Frimpong-Barfi & Francis M Asenso-Boadi, 2018. "Parental costs for in-patient neonatal services for perinatal asphyxia and low birth weight in Ghana," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(10), pages 1-14, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0204410
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204410

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    References listed on IDEAS

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