The Indirect Cost of Disability Adjusted Life Years Lost among the Elderly in Kenya
Background: As Kenya accelerates the momentum to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3 on health and 13 on combatting impacts of climate change, it is critically important not to overlook their impacts on the elderly, i.e. people aged 60 years and above (elderly). The objective of this study was to estimate the indirect cost (productivity losses) of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost among the elderly in Kenya in 2015.
Methods: The indirect cost associated with jth disease (or health condition) DALYs lost among the elderly is the product of the per capita non-health GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP) and the total jth disease (or health condition) DALYs lost in a specific age group. Per capita non-health GDP equals Kenya’s per capita GDP minus total health expenditure in 2015. The study covers all the diseases and health conditions reported in WHO Global Health Observatory (GHO). The data on DALYs and per capita total health expenditure were obtained from WHO GHO; while per capita GDP data was from IMF World Economic Outlook database.
Results: About 2,238,004 DALYs were lost among the elderly in 2015. That health loss resulted into a total indirect cost of Int$ 7,088,274,986; which was evenly distributed among males and females. Approximately, 64.1% of the indirect cost resulted from non-communicable diseases, 29.3% from communicable and nutritional conditions, and 12.2% from injuries. If Kenya is able to fully achieve SDG targets 3.1 on maternal mortality, 3.3 on communicable diseases, 3.4 on NCDs and 3.6 on road traffic accidents by 2030, that would lead to a reduction of 625,238.21 DALYs (38.4%) lost among the elderly, which is equivalent to a saving of Int$ 1,986,641,742 (44.9%) in indirect costs (productivity losses).
Conclusions: Kenya incurs every year substantive productivity losses due to morbidity and premature mortality among the elderly. Therefore, there is need for increased government, private sector and partner investments into health and wellbeing of the elderly to prolong their intrinsic and functional capacities.
Key words: Elderly, indirect cost, productivity loss, disability-adjusted life year (DALY)
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