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 Background to the Study

 Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a group of chronic medical condition in which the body metabolism is deranged either due to none or insufficient production or the body does not properly respond to insulin; a hormone produced by the beta cells of islets of Langahans in the pancreas (Adebayo, 2009). Insulin enables cells to absorb glucose in order to turn it to energy. DM interferes with the intermediary metabolites as a result of absolute or relative deficiency of Insulin, producing a persistent hyperglycaemic state. The persistent hyperglycaemia demands intensive care thus increasing the cost of care. Diabetes mellitus is a growing “epidemic and pandemic” (WHO, 2002; Adebayo, 2009). WHO, (2008) estimates that more than 180 million people worldwide have diabetes in 2008 and in 2009, the prevalence rose to 246million. Globally, 285million people had DM in 2010, projected to double by 2030 (Bilikis, 2012). A diabetes prevalence of 20.8million (7% of population) for Nigeria is considered high (Kiriga and Barry 2008; Odeleye 2008) and Nigeria having the largest prevalence of DM in African region in 2011 (International Diabetes Federation IDF, 2012) is a concern. Diabetes affects the quality of life of individuals/families; having a 5-fold risk of cardio-vascular diseases and 3-fold of stroke. It is the third cause of death from disease and complications (Ikheiemoje, 2006; Smeltzer, Bare, Hinkle & Cheever 2008) and the second of the 4 killer Non communicable diseases (Sridhar, 2011). Diabetes affects all socio-economic groups but the low income groups are more affected (Smeltzer, et al. 2008). In Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries,the active productive age groups (30-45years) are mostly affected (Azevedo & Allai, 2008; Obayendo, 2008). Type2 diabetes which used to be of adult onset is occurring much earlier due to obesity and lifestyle changes. Studies have shown that the earlier the onset of diabetes, the earlier the onset of complications with consequent higher direct and indirect cost of care (economic burden) (Ikhesiemoje, 2006; Smeltzer et al. 2008; Idemyor, 2010). Economic impact of healthcare expenditure on individuals challenged with illness especially where prepayment system is absent is a growing concern (Xu, et al. 2007; Onoka, Onwujekwe, Hanson & Uzochukwu, 2010). This could be worse for patients with Diabetes Mellitus, a chronic metabolic disorder requiring life-long treatment. The medical costs for diabetics are high because they visit the health facilities 2-3 times more than non-diabetics (Chang & Javitt, 2000). Diabetic patients incur increasing costs of care paid out of pocket and absents from work often (Zhang, et al. 2010) (indirect cost). D.M exerts a heavy burden on individual and society in terms of increasing healthcare costs. The burden borne depends on the purchasing power of individuals, social insurance policies of the nation they live (Zhang, et al 2010) and amount of care received (IDF, 2005). WHO, (2005) postulated that where health care is funded privately, individuals lack ability to pay and there is no mechanism to pool financial risk as in Nigeria, catastrophic spending is high. Catastrophic Healthcare expenditure is very high healthcare spending beyond which individuals begin to sacrifice consumption of basic needs. It is equal to or in excess of 40% of non-subsistence income consumption (WHO, 2005); that is income available after basic needs have been met (non food expenditure) but countries could set their thresholds based on their peculiarities. In Nigeria private funding is more than 90%. More than 70% of the population live below $1 a day and prepayment mechanism for pooling risk is lacking (Soyibo, 2004; WHO, 2005; UN Report 2006; Onwujekwe, et al. 2009). Diabetics in Nigeria have high risk for catastrophic expenditure not only because they visit the health facilities 2 to 3 times more than non diabetics but most times present late with complications, pay out of pocket (OOPS) and healthcare cost is increasing. Excessive reliance on OOPS exacerbates the already inequitable access to quality care and exposes households to the financial risks of expensive illnesses like DM (Soyibo, 2004). High cost of care force individuals to adopt payment coping mechanisms which are short term strategies used to cope with the costs of healthcare (Adams & Ke, 2008). It has also been recognised that financing healthcare with payment coping mechanism further increases the total cost and generates ‘hidden’ poverty (Adams & Ke, 2008; Oyakale & Yusuf, 2010). The economic importance, complications and death tolls are compelling national governments to pay more attention to the impacts of D.M (Azevedo & Allai, 2008; Cummings 2010; Sridhar, 2011). Diabetes mellitus is one of the priority Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) discussed by the United Nations General Assembly, September, 2011, because of its recognised health, economic and development importance. Nigeria lost to these, 4.5million in human resources in 2009 (Osotimehin, 2009), loses about $400 million per annum in national income from premature death (WHO, 2010) and incurs direct costs of about $800 million annually (Chukwu, 2011) posing a major challenge to the actualisation of sustainable development in the 21st century, especially in developing countries with consideration to their rates of morbidity and mortality. Although Nigerian government provided exemption for treatment of malaria in under-5s and pregnant women (Federal Ministry of Health, 2003), there is no exemption for diabetes; a growing epidemic with largely increasing healthcare costs especially with its late diagnosis in Nigeria and some other Sub Saharan African countries. The problems of living with diabetes are most acutely experienced by patients and their immediate families (Adams & Ke, 2010), who also provide 95% the care (IDF Clinical guidelines Task Force, 2005). They experience the greatest impact of lifestyle changes that directly affect their quality of life. Evidenced- based data is needed to move D.M into the national health policy agenda for targeted intervention. Unfortunately, there is paucity of data on the magnitude of the economic burden borne by diabetic Patients, their payment strategies and payment coping mechanisms in Nigeria. There is therefore need to ascertain the economic burden borne by diabetic patients and payment coping mechanisms from people who are experiencing the illness and incurring the costs (Willen & Willkie, 2006). This study therefore investigated the economic burden, payment strategies and payment coping mechanisms of diabetic patients attending a tertiary health institution in Abia State, South-East Nigeria.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages132 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
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