Background Integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) can reduce under-5 morbidity and mortality in low-income settings. A program to strengthen IMCI practices through Mentorship and Enhanced Supervision at Health centers (MESH) was implemented in two rural districts in eastern Rwanda in 2010. Methods We estimated cost per improvement in quality of care as measured by the difference in correct diagnosis and correct treatment at baseline and 12 months of MESH. Costs of developing and implementing MESH were estimated in 2011 United States Dollars (USD) from the provider perspective using both top-down and bottom-up approaches, from programmatic financial records and site-level data. Improvement in quality of care attributed to MESH was measured through case management observations (n = 292 cases at baseline, 413 cases at 12 months), with outcomes from the intervention already published. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess uncertainty under different assumptions of quality of care and patient volume. Results The total annual cost of MESH was US$ 27,955.74 and the average cost added by MESH per IMCI patient was US$1.06. Salary and benefits accounted for the majority of total annual costs (US$22,400 /year). Improvements in quality of care after 12 months of MESH implementation cost US$2.95 per additional child correctly diagnosed and $5.30 per additional child correctly treated. Conclusions The incremental costs per additional child correctly diagnosed and child correctly treated suggest that MESH could be an affordable method for improving IMCI quality of care elsewhere in Rwanda and similar settings. Integrating MESH into existing supervision systems would further reduce costs, increasing potential for spread.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)