Disparity of out of pocket expenditure on reproductive health related disorders across gender and life course

  • G Amarech
  • A Tibebe
  • T Melesse
  • DH Mariam


Background: In most developing countries, reproductive health accounts usually do not tend to reflect the extent of out-of-pocket expenditures by households. Studies elsewhere have shown that individuals and households spending cover a substantial part of total financial resource flows on  reproductive health such as sexually transmitted infections (STI) and reproductive tract infections (RTI). However, these out-of-pocket  expenditures (OOPE) remain poorly visible in resource tracking efforts since they require specialized surveys.
Objectives: This study examined the extent of out of pocket expenditures on STIs and RTIs along gender and life course in a rural setting of Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was employed to collect household level data on the utilization of (modern and traditional) healthcare and expenditures during the period of one month proceeding the study period.
Results: The mean expenditure for laboratory tests and treatment by women with RTI was Birr 17 and 58 at public and Birr 22 and 54 at private facilities respectively while the average expenditure for STI was Birr 24 and 57 by men at private providers respectively. Transportation and  accommodation expenditure of the patient and caregiver also constitute significant expenditure while seeking health care. The mean expenditure for transportation related to RTI was Birr 23 and 16 for women and men respectively. Respondents used different means to mobilize the finances for their Reproductive Health (RH) care expenses including regular income, borrowing from their relatives and friends, using own saving, or borrowing from local money lenders.
Conclusions: Even if reproductive health services are provided mainly by resources mobilized by the public sector, household private out of pocket expenditures on RTI and STI services are significant. Thus this expenditures need to be further investigated for other RH services to see the flow of resources.

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eISSN: 1021-6790