Equity and efficiency in the scaled-up implementation of integrated neglected tropical disease control: the health economics protocol of the COUNTDOWN multicountry observational study in Ghana, Cameroon and Liberia

Maame Esi Woode, Jahangir A M Khan, Rachael Thomson, Louis Niessen, COUNTDOWN Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Introduction Worldwide, millions of individuals are affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). They are frequently the poorest and most marginalised members of society. Their living conditions, among other things, make them susceptible to such diseases. Historically, several large-scale treatment programmes providing mass drug administrations (MDAs) were carried out per single disease but over the last decade there has been an increasing trend towards co-implementation of MDA activities given the resources used for such programmes are often the same. The COUNTDOWN multicountry studies focus on scaled-up implementation of integrated control strategies against four diseases: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. The objective of the COUNTDOWN economic study is to assess the multicountry implementation of control interventions in terms of equity, impact and efficiency.

Methods The health economic study uses different analytical methods to assess the relationship between NTDs and poverty and the cost-effectiveness of different large-scale intervention options. Regression analysis will be used to study the determinants of NTD occurrence, the impact of NTDs on poverty, factors that hinder access to MDAs and the effect of NTDs on quality-of-life of those affected, including disability. Cost-effectiveness analyses of various integration methods will be performed using health economic modelling to estimate the cost and programme impact of different integration options. Here, cost-effectiveness ratios will be calculated, including multivariate sensitivity analyses, using Bayesian analysis.

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval has been received both at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and in all participating countries. Results of the various substudies will be presented for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere020113
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Health equity
  • neglected tropical diseases

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