WNTD 2017 – The Health Cost of Tobacco Use in UgandaEconomic and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society
The cost of tobacco-related illnesses in Uganda far outweighs the benefits of employment and tax revenue generated from the tobacco sector. A recent study led by Dr. Nigar Nargis, Director in the Economic and Health Policy Research program at the American Cancer Society, estimates the economic cost of tobacco use in Uganda using the cost-of-illnesses approach based on data collected from a survey of patients and caregivers in four major service centers in Mulago National Referral Hospital. The total direct health care and non-health care cost of tobacco-related illnesses was US$ 41.56 million. The total indirect morbidity and mortality costs from the loss of productivity due to tobacco-related illnesses were US$ 11.91 million and US$ 73.01 million respectively. The direct and indirect costs of tobacco use added up to US$ 126.48 million, which is equivalent to 0.5% of Uganda’s GDP. The total health care cost of tobacco-related illnesses constitutes 2.3% of the national health care account. These results unequivocally demonstrate that stronger tobacco control measures need to be undertaken to reduce the disease and economic burden of tobacco use in Uganda.