Economic Burden of Chronic ill-Health and Injuries for Households in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Authors: Beverley Essue, Tracey-Lea Laba, Felicia Knaul, Annie Chu, Hoang Van Minh, Thi Kim Phuong Nguyen , Stephen Jan

This chapter estimates the burden of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) associated with chronic ill health and injuries in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and describes the broader economic effects on households. Most CHEs come from renal, cardiovascular, and chronic infectious diseases, and the global burden of CHE remains much higher than previously estimated. Meeting the global commitment to enhance financial protection of populations, including the World Bank’s goal of eliminating impoverishing health expenditure by 2030, requires a concerted effort to address the main drivers of CHE in all settings. In designing financial protection programs, policy makers need to give priority to covering populations and conditions associated with the greatest economic burden. Furthermore, needed health care services still remain out of reach for millions with disease who live in poverty. Strategies to enhance financial protection need implementation alongside broader poverty alleviation efforts, which collectively will generate the greatest gains in mitigating the household-level economic burden of chronic ill health globally.