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FINANCIAL COSTS OF PAEDIATRIC CANCER MANAGEMENT IN AFRICA: SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS
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  • Criss Koba,
  • Désiré Kulimba,
  • Oscar Numbi ,
  • Murielle Nkumuyaya ,
  • Yves Chabu,
  • Prosper Kalenga ,
  • Benjamin Kabyla
Criss Koba
University of Lubumbashi Faculty of Medicine
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Désiré Kulimba
University of Kinshasa Faculty of Medicine
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Oscar Numbi
University of Lubumbashi
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Murielle Nkumuyaya
University of Lubumbashi
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Yves Chabu
Missouri State University
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Prosper Kalenga
University of Lubumbashi
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Benjamin Kabyla
University of Lubumbashi
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Abstract

Background: Pediatric cancer is one of the leading causes of death and a matter of constant concern worldwide. The objective of this study was to estimate the financial cost of treating children suffering from cancer in Africa. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of expert opinions with peer review by searching PubMed and other databases for World Health Organization data for the African region published in French and English between March 2000 and March 2020. The key search terms included ‘cost’, ‘cancer’ and ‘child’; we selected articles that specifically addressed the financial costs of childhood cancer in African countries. Results: Of 79 articles found, 15 met the inclusion criteria; four of the articles came from Rwanda. Cancer care was a heavy financial burden in most of the countries studied, although costs varied from country to country; the average healthcare expenditure was US$1017.39 ± US$319.1 per year. In countries without a health insurance system, the highest proportion of cancer care costs, 62.7%, was indirect (e.g., travel costs to a different country for oncology care), whereas in countries with a cancer financing system, the direct cost of treatment was low, 37.3%. Conclusion: The cost of treating childhood cancer is high in Africa in relation to the standard of living of individuals residing in this region. More studies on financing cancer care on this continent could improve treatment and patient management. Keywords: Childhood cancer, financial costs, Africa, systematic review, meta-analysis.