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BMC Health Serv Res. 2008 Jul 31;8:165. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-8-165.

From strategy development to routine implementation: the cost of Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Infants for malaria control.

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  • 1Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre, Ifakara, Tanzania. manzif@yahoo.com



Achieving the Millennium Development Goals for health requires a massive scaling-up of interventions in Sub Saharan Africa. Intermittent Preventive Treatment in infants (IPTi) is a promising new tool for malaria control. Although efficacy information is available for many interventions, there is a dearth of data on the resources required for scaling up of health interventions.


We worked in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) to develop an IPTi strategy that could be implemented and managed by routine health services. We tracked health system and other costs of (1) developing the strategy and (2) maintaining routine implementation of the strategy in five districts in southern Tanzania. Financial costs were extracted and summarized from a costing template and semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants to record time and resources spent on IPTi activities.


The estimated financial cost to start-up and run IPTi in the whole of Tanzania in 2005 was US$1,486,284. Start-up costs of US$36,363 were incurred at the national level, mainly on the development of Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) materials, stakeholders' meetings and other consultations. The annual running cost at national level for intervention management and monitoring and drug purchase was estimated at US$459,096. Start-up costs at the district level were US$7,885 per district, mainly expenditure on training. Annual running costs were US$170 per district, mainly for printing of BCC materials. There was no incremental financial expenditure needed to deliver the intervention in health facilities as supplies were delivered alongside routine vaccinations and available health workers performed the activities without working overtime. The economic cost was estimated at 23 US cents per IPTi dose delivered.


The costs presented here show the order of magnitude of expenditures needed to initiate and to implement IPTi at national scale in settings with high Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) coverage. The IPTi intervention appears to be affordable even within the budget constraints of Ministries of Health of most sub-Saharan African countries.

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