Out Of Pocket Expenditure Study: Lesotho

Globally in 2016, there were approximately 10.4 million new Tuberculosis (TB) cases and an estimated 1.3 million TB deaths. Although the number of TB deaths has decreased, TB remains one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. Lesotho still belongs to the countries with the highest TB incidence on the continent.

TB patients often incur high costs seeking health care, such as charges for health services and costs for transport, accommodation and food; these costs can result in lost income, productivity and time. Out-of-pocket costs create barriers to accessing care and adhering to treatment, causing poor health outcomes and increasing the risk of disease transmission and development of drug-resistant strains. These costs can also contribute to the economic burden on households and can have catastrophic effects on individuals and their households.

Health Focus is conducting a household survey on the Out of Pocket costs associated for TB patients on behalf of the Ministry of Health in Lesotho to fully address TB, health financing and delivery models and social protection mechanisms (such as job protection, paid sick leave, social welfare payments, or other transfers in cash or kind). The survey aims to capture costs related to the whole TB episode where “TB episode” is defined as the period of time from self-reported onset of TB-related symptoms until the end of the continuation phase of treatment.