Catastrophic Healthcare Expenditure from Typhoid Perforation in Children in Nigeria

Justina O. Seyi-Olajide, Jamie Anderson, Augustine O. Enivwaene, Salamatu Halid Ibrahim, Diana Farmer, Emmanuel A. Ameh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Out-of-pocket payments and catastrophic healthcare expenditures (CHE) are important barriers to achieving equity and access to emergency and essential surgical care in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), with important implications for universal health coverage (UHC). However, data on CHE for surgical care in these settings are limited, especially with regard to infections. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 32 children receiving laparotomy for typhoid intestinal perforation in a four-year period. Data on medical costs were reviewed. Because of the lack of reliable data on household incomes and average national incomes for Nigeria, gross domestic product per capita was used to calculate CHE. The GDP per capita for the country during the study period was $2,028.182. Expenditure >10% GDP per capita (or > $202.82) was considered CHE. Results: There were 15 boys and 17 girls aged 2-15 years (mean 7.72 years). Seventeen patients (53%) were referred from district/general hospitals or mission hospitals. After surgical treatment, 16 patients (50%) developed complications (intra-abdominal abscesses and incision complications), and nine (28.1%) required re-operation. Seven patients (21.9%) required intensive care (ICU) treatment and three (9.4%) died from overwhelming infection. The hospital stay was 3-93 days (mean 23 days). The average total medical cost was $452 (range $236-$1,700). The total medical costs exceeded 10% of GDP ($202.82) for all patients. Total expenditure for four patients requiring intensive care exceeded $202.82 for the ICU care alone. Conclusion: Surgical treatment of typhoid intestinal perforation in children is associated with a high rate of CHE if care is provided at tertiary hospitals. Investments in prevention and control of this and other surgical infections as well as scale up of capacity at district hospitals to provide such care are important in preventing CHE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • catastrophic healthcare expenditure
  • pediatric infection
  • typhoid intestinal perforation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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