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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


ALVIS-GUZMAN, Nelson; ALVIS-ESTRADA, Luís  and  OROZCO-AFRICANO, Julio. The cost-effectiveness of installing natural gas as a sanitary alternative for rural communities on the Colombian Caribbean coast burning biomass fuels . Rev. salud pública [online]. 2008, vol.10, n.4, pp.537-549. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Evaluating the economic impact of natural gas as a sanitary technology regarding respiratory disease associated with indoor air pollution in rural localities on the Colombian Caribbean coast. Methods Three studies were carried out: the burden of respiratory disease was evaluated (acute lower respiratory infection-ALRI and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - COPD), disease costs were studied and the cost effectiveness of natural gas was analysed in terms of reducing indoor air pollution. Results Without natural gas in these localities, it would be expected that 498 (477-560) cases of ALRI per year would lead to 149 (119-196) hospitalisations, 6 (4-10) deaths and 7 291 (5,746-9,696) disability adjusted life years (DALY) annually. Furthermore, it is expected that 459 (372-684) cases of COPD per year would lead to 138 (93-239), hospitalisations, 11 deaths (5-26) and 1 500 (973-2 711) DALY annually. Annual disease burden cost was 5,2 (3,8-8,3) million dollars before installing domiciliary natural gas (DNG); most of such cost arose from COPD (around 85 %). ARI and COPD costs after installing DNG would rise to 3,5 (2,5-5,7) million dollars; avoided costs would be 1,6 (1,2-2,6) million dollars, (30 % of disease burden cost without DNG). The incremental cost-effectiveness (ICER) of installing DNG would be 56 (22-74) thousand dollars per life saved and ICER per DALY saved would be 43-66 dollars. Conclusion DNG is a sanitary technology which reduces the burden of indoor air pollution-associated respiratory diseases arising from burning biomass fuel in rural localities in a cost-effective way.

Keywords : Natural gas; COPD; cost effectiveness.

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