JOURNAL ARTICLE

Assessing the household financial burden associated with the chronic non-communicable diseases in a rural district of Vietnam

Hoang Van Minh, Bach Xuan Tran
Global Health Action 2012, 5: 1-7
23273250

BACKGROUND: While there is accumulated evidence showing the rapid rise of the burden caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Vietnam, information on the extent to which households in the country suffer financial catastrophe or impoverishment caused by the diseases is still largely lacking. This paper aims to examine the self-reported prevalence of major chronic diseases among a population in rural Vietnam and to analyse the household financial burden associated with these diseases.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 800 randomly selected households was carried out in Vo Nhai District, Thai Nguyen Province, in 2010. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with key informants of selected households on diagnosed chronic NCDs, health care utilization and health expenditure of all household members. The World Health Organization's definitions of catastrophic expenditure and impoverishment were used. Both descriptive and analytical statistics were applied.

RESULTS: The prevalence of chronic NCDs in households and individuals was 29.3 and 33.4%, respectively. The catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment rates among the households who have at least one member with a chronic disease were 14.6 and 7.6%, respectively. These rates were significantly higher than the corresponding figures among the households whose members were free from the diseases (4.2 and 2.3%, respectively). The odds of experiencing catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment among the household with NCD patients were 3.2 and 2.3 times greater than that of other households.

CONCLUSION: Findings from this study indicate that the epidemiological and household financial burdens caused by chronic diseases in Vietnam are now substantial and need immediate mitigation measures.

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