Health economics: potential applications in HIV/AIDS control in Africa

  • Joses M Kirigia World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, D’Joue Village, PO Box 06, Brazzaville, Congo
  • Luis G Sambo Regional Director, WHO/AFRO, D’Joue Village, PO Box 06, Brazzaville, Congo
  • Emilienne Anikpo Health Action in Crisis Development, WHO/HQ
  • Eddie Karisa Health in Sustainable Development Unit, DES
  • Germano Mwabu Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Nairobi, Kenya


There is growing evidence that HIV/AIDS has enormous negative impact on health status and economic development of individuals, households, communities and nations in the African region [33]. Thus, there is urgent need for various disciplines to demonstrate how they can contribute in curbing the spread of this deadly disease in the African region. This paper, using an extended version of Professor Alan Williams [32] schema as the conceptual framework, attempts to demonstrate how health economics can be used to inform policy and managerial choices related to HIV/AIDS advocacy, prevention, treatment and management. It argues that the discipline of health economics (and economics generally) is extremely valuable in: measuring health impacts of the disease and interventions; evaluating the relationships between health care-seeking behaviour of individuals and health system specific attributes; the estimation of determinants of compliance of HIV/AIDS patients with treatment regimen; establishing of health institutions efficiency in combating AIDS; guiding choices of HIV/AIDS interventions; assessing the relationships between HIV/AIDS, development, poverty, and trade; programme planning, monitoring and evaluation; and assessing health system's overall performance. The paper is a modest attempt to show how the discipline of health economics can elucidate, and help in resolving practical and conceptual issues in HIV/AIDS control in Africa.

African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 12(1-2) 2005: 1-12


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1022-9272