Integrated surveys of neglected tropical diseases in southern Sudan: how much do they cost and can they be refined?

Kolaczinski, JH; Hanson, K; Robinson, E; Picon, D; Sabasio, A; Mpakateni, M; Lado, M; Moore, S; Petty, N; Brooker, S; (2010) Integrated surveys of neglected tropical diseases in southern Sudan: how much do they cost and can they be refined? PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 4 (7). e745. ISSN 1935-2727 DOI:

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BACKGROUND: Increasing emphasis on integrated control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) requires identification of co-endemic areas. Integrated surveys for lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection have been recommended for this purpose. Integrated survey designs inevitably involve balancing the costs of surveys against accuracy of classifying areas for treatment, so-called implementation units (IUs). This requires an understanding of the main cost drivers and of how operating procedures may affect both cost and accuracy of surveys. Here we report a detailed cost analysis of the first round of integrated NTD surveys in Southern Sudan. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Financial and economic costs were estimated from financial expenditure records and interviews with survey staff using an ingredients approach. The main outcome was cost per IU surveyed. Uncertain variables were subjected to univariate sensitivity analysis and the effects of modifying standard operating procedures were explored. The average economic cost per IU surveyed was USD 40,206 or USD 9,573, depending on the size of the IU. The major cost drivers were two key categories of recurrent costs: i) survey consumables, and ii) personnel. CONCLUSION: The cost of integrated surveys in Southern Sudan could be reduced by surveying larger administrative areas for LF. If this approach was taken, the estimated economic cost of completing LF, schistosomiasis and STH mapping in Southern Sudan would amount to USD 1.6 million. The methodological detail and costing template provided here could be used to generate cost estimates in other settings and readily compare these to the present study, and may help budget for integrated and single NTDs surveys elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 20644619
Web of Science ID: 280412300014


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