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Title: Priority-setting for malaria control and elimination in Myanmar
Author: Drake, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 5931
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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In Myanmar, Plasmodium falciparum malaria is important because of both the burden of disease and the emergence of parasites resistant to artemisinin-based therapies. In 2012, concomitant with the lifting of international economic sanctions, funding for malaria control and elimination in Myanmar rose significantly. The University of Oxford was asked to support priority setting by assessing the relative cost-effectiveness of insecticide- treated bed nets and community health workers, particularly with respect to planning in the Myanmar Artemisinin Resistance Containment region along the east of the country. In the context of rising artemisinin resistance and, later, the goal of regional malaria elimination by 2030, reduction in malaria transmission was an important consideration in prioritising between interventions. A cost-effectiveness analysis was undertaken using both a static decision tree model and a dynamic disease transmission model. Supporting work towards this analysis included a systematic review of dynamic-transmission economic-evaluations and the creation of a data repository to collate governmental and non-governmental malaria case records. In addition, initially unplanned work on economic evaluation methodology was completed; identifying challenges in the application of cost utility analysis to this decision problem and proposing a framework for budget-based geographic resource allocation as an adaptation of standard methods. The results of this work include a tripling of the number of malaria diagnostic reports available between 2012 and 2014 (71% increase in Plasmodium falciparum cases) with this data showing a decrease in Plasmodium falciparum cases over time, alongside rising testing rates. Cost utility analysis found that, in general, malaria community health workers are more costly yet more effective than insecticide treated bed nets, though in both cases cost effectiveness is very much context dependent. Geographic allocation analyses using both static and dynamic models illustrate the potential for economic evaluation to provide both more detailed and more practical policy recommendations. Parameter uncertainty was explored in both cases. Some township recommendations were robust to both parameter uncertainty and model variation (structural uncertainty). Viewed through the lens of the Reference Case for Economic Evaluation in Low and Middle Income Countries (published during the course of this DPhil), budget-based geographic resource allocation largely adheres to the healthcare economic evaluation principles and offers improvements to dealing with heterogeneity and resource constraints. This DPhil recommends that Myanmar malaria policy is tailored to reflect geographic variation in intervention cost-effectiveness, rather than focusing on universal coverage, and illustrates a framework for economic evaluation to support budget-based geographic allocation.
Supervisor: Smithuis, Frank ; Lubell, Yoel ; White, Lisa ; Day, Nicholas Sponsor: Nuffield Department of Medicine
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medicine ; Economics ; Malaria ; Geographic targetting ; Cost-effectiveness ; Economic evaluation