Diarrhea is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among the under-five children in Bangladesh. Hospitalization for diarrhea can pose a significant burden to the households and health-systems. We aim to estimate the cost-of-illness due to diarrhea from the healthcare facility, caregiver, and societal perspectives in Bangladesh.
A cross-sectional study with an ingredient-based costing approach was conducted in 48-healthcare facilities in Bangladesh. In total, 899 caregivers of children under-five with diarrhea were interviewed between August 2017 and May 2018 at discharge and 7-14 days after discharge by phone to capture all expenses and time costs related to the entire episode of diarrhea.
The average cost per episode for caregivers was US$62 with $29 direct and $34 indirect costs. From the societal perspective, an episode of diarrhea costed an average of $71. In 2018, an estimated $79 million economic costs incurred for treating diarrhea in Bangladesh. Over 46% of interviewed households faced catastrophic expenditure from diarrheal disease.
The economic costs incurred by caregivers for treating per-episode of diarrhea was around 4% of the annual national gross domestic product per-capita. Investment in vaccination can help to reduce the prevalence of diarrheal diseases and avert this public health burden.

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