Ending the Neglect: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases in Nigeria by 2030
Although progress has accelerated over the last decade regarding the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), they still constitute a major risk for a significant part of the world’s population, devastatingly affecting the poorest communities.
In Africa, the share of the population suffering from NTDs is negatively related to wealth, meaning that as countries develop their economies, they become better at handling NTDs through investment. The END Fund commissioned Deloitte to prepare an economic impact study with the objective of presenting the key economic and social benefits of eliminating the five most prevalent NTDs in Nigeria by 2030, including long-term financial returns and a cost-benefit assessment of elimination programs.
The report’s main objective is to holistically present the key economic and social benefits of eliminating the five most prevalent NTDs in Nigeria by 2030, including long-term financial returns and a cost-benefit assessment of elimination programs.
NTDs remain a severe problem in Nigeria, which accounts for around 25% of Africa’s NTD cases. According to the WHO, 165 million people in Nigeria (i.e., 84% of the population) require preventive chemotherapy for at least one NTD. One of the reasons for this is the lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
Only 14% of the Nigerian population has access to safely managed drinking water sources, and 44% has access to sanitation, with open defecation still prevalent. Only 17% of the population uses improved sanitation facilities with hand washing facilities and soap.
- The Nigerian economy will reap USD 18.9 billion from its citizens’ increased productivity in 2023-2030 if NTD elimination is achieved by 2030. These gains would also continue beyond 2030, as individuals who are cured or avoid infection live more productive and fulfilling lives.
- The elimination of NTDs is correlated with good educational outcomes. The less NTDs are prevalent, the more educated communities will be. Studies suggest a bidirectional causative relationship between the two, eliminating the diseases and advancing education, including fostering combatting NTDs.
- Nigeria has the most significant NTD burden on the continent, accounting for about 25% of Africa’s NTD cases. About 165 million Nigerians currently need treatment for one or more types of NTDs, representing 84% of the entire population.
- In addition to productivity gains, the largest, additional economic benefits of eliminating NTDs include avoided out-of-pocket expenses, freed-up productivity of caregivers, and gains due to increased school attendance.
- Gains to the Nigerian economy from the freed-up productivity of caregivers for the same period could yield USD 5.8 billion for all five most common NTDs in Nigeria. Additionally, this study shows that Nigerian school-age children infected with NTDs could lose as much as USD 7.2 billion in discounted earnings over their working lives if they are not treated.