The household economic burden of drug-susceptible TB diagnosis and treatment in The Gambia

By I Devoid  A K Sillah    J Sutherland  O Ivanova  Caroline Mandimika  Kamban Hirasen  M Davies  K Lönnroth  I Loum  |  | 


To determine the costs and catastrophic costs incurred by drug-susceptible (DS) pulmonary TB patients in The Gambia.


This observational study collected cost and socio-economic data using a micro-costing approach from the household perspective from 244 adult DS-TB patients with pulmonary TB receiving treatment through the national treatment programme in The Gambia. We used data collected between 2017 and 2020 using an adapted version of the WHO generic patient cost survey instrument to estimate costs and the proportion of patients experiencing catastrophic costs (≥20% of household income).


The mean total cost of the TB episode was $104.11 (2018 USD). Direct costs were highest before treatment ($22.93). Indirect costs accounted for over 50% of the entire episode costs. Using different income estimation approaches and catastrophic cost thresholds, 0.4–75% of participants encountered catastrophic costs, showing the variability of results given the different assumptions we utilised.


We show that despite the benefits of free TB care and treatment, DS-TB patients still incur substantial direct and indirect costs, and cases of impoverishing expenditure varied vastly depending on the income estimation approaches used.

Publication details

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis