Volume 86, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



This study investigated the costs of illness to households in different socio-economic status (SES) groups and geographic places of abode in addition to the mechanisms that the different population groups used to pay for health services and cope with payments. A cross-sectional descriptive study of 3,200 households selected from six communities in two states was conducted using interviewer-administered pre-tested questionnaires. An SES index was used to divide the households into quartiles, and χ analysis was used to determine the relationship of SES and geographic abode of households with cost of illness, payment mechanism, and coping strategies. The results show that malaria was the illness that most people had. The average cost of transportation for malaria was 86 Naira ($0.6 US), and the total cost of treatment was 2,819.9 Naira ($20 US); of this cost, drug costs alone contributed more than 90%. Out of pocket was the main method of payment. Treatment costs differed by geographic location and socio-economic status. Policy measures should establish targeted mechanisms to protect the general population, especially rural dwellers and poorer households, against the financial burden of direct healthcare payments.


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  • Received : 10 Feb 2011
  • Accepted : 21 Aug 2011

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