Cost analysis for “The Magic Glasses Philippines” health education package to prevent intestinal worm infections among Filipino schoolchildren

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Mationg, Mary Lorraine S
Williams, Gail M
Tallo, Veronica L
Olveda, Remigio M
Aung, Eindra
Alday, Portia
Reñosa, Mark Donald
Daga, Chona Mae
Landicho, Jhoys
Demonteverde, Maria Paz
Santos, Eunice Diane
Bravo, Thea Andrea
Bourke, Siobhan
Munira, Syarifah Liza
Stewart, Donald E
et al.
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Background Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are a significant public health problem affecting over 900 million people globally. Health education has been shown to complement mass drug administration (MDA) for the control of these intestinal worms. We reported recently results of a cluster randomised control trial (RCT) showing the positive impact of the “The Magic Glasses Philippines (MGP)” health education package in reducing STH infections among schoolchildren in intervention schools with ≤15% STH baseline prevalence in Laguna province, the Philippines. To inform decision making on the economic implications of the MGP, we evaluated the in-trial costs and then quantified the costs of scaling up the intervention both regionally and nationally.

Methods Costs were determined for the MGP RCT conducted in 40 schools in Laguna province. We estimated the total cost and the costs incurred per student for the actual RCT and the total costs for regional and national scale-up in all schools regardless of STH endemicity. The costs associated with the implementation of standard health education (SHE) activities and mass drug administration (MDA) were determined with a public sector perspective.

Findings The cost per participating student in the MGP RCT was Php 58.65 (USD 1.15) but if teachers instead of research staff had been involved, the estimated cost would have been considerably lower at Php 39.45 (USD 0.77). Extrapolating the costs for regional scale-up, the costs per student were estimated to be Php 15.24 (USD 0.30). As it is scaled up at the national level to include more schoolchildren, the estimated cost was increased at Php 17.46 (USD 0.34). In scenario 2 and 3, consistently, labour/salary costs associated with the delivery of the MGP contributed most to overall programme expenditure. Furthermore, the estimated average cost per student for SHE and MDA were Php 117.34 (USD 2.30) and Php 58.17 (USD 1.14), respectively. Using national scale up estimates, the cost of combining the MGP with SHE and MDA was Php 192.97 (USD 3.79).

Interpretation These findings suggest that the integration of MGP into the school curriculum would be an affordable and scalable approach to respond to the continuous burden of STH infection among schoolchildren in the Philippines.

Funding National and Medical Research Council, Australia, and the UBS-Optimus Foundation, Switzerland.

Keywords Soil transmitted helminthSTHMagic Glasses PhilippinesHealth educationCost analysisMDA costProgramme costPhilippines

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The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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Mationg, MLS; Williams, GM; Tallo, VL; Olveda, RM; Aung, E; Alday, P; Reñosa, MD; Daga, CM; Landicho, J; Demonteverde, MP; Santos, ED; Bravo, TA; Bourke, S; Munira, SL; Bieri, FA; Li, YS; Clements, ACA; Steinmann, P; Halton, K; Stewart, DE; McManus, DP; Gray, DJ, Cost analysis for “The Magic Glasses Philippines” health education package to prevent intestinal worm infections among Filipino schoolchildren, The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific, 2022, pp. 100597-100597