Cost-effectiveness modelling to optimise active screening strategy for gambiense human African trypanosomiasis in endemic areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo.BMC Med. 2021 04 01; 19(1):86.BM
Gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (gHAT) has been brought under control recently with village-based active screening playing a major role in case reduction. In the approach to elimination, we investigate how to optimise active screening in villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo, such that the expenses of screening programmes can be efficiently allocated whilst continuing to avert morbidity and mortality.
We implement a cost-effectiveness analysis using a stochastic gHAT infection model for a range of active screening strategies and, in conjunction with a cost model, we calculate the net monetary benefit (NMB) of each strategy. We focus on the high-endemicity health zone of Kwamouth in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
High-coverage active screening strategies, occurring approximately annually, attain the highest NMB. For realistic screening at 55% coverage, annual screening is cost-effective at very low willingness-to-pay thresholds (<DOLLAR/>20.4 per disability adjusted life year (DALY) averted), only marginally higher than biennial screening (<DOLLAR/>14.6 per DALY averted). We find that, for strategies stopping after 1, 2 or 3 years of zero case reporting, the expected cost-benefits are very similar.
We highlight the current recommended strategy-annual screening with three years of zero case reporting before stopping active screening-is likely cost-effective, in addition to providing valuable information on whether transmission has been interrupted.