Se justifica economicamente la erradicacion de la poliomielitis en las Americas?
In 1985 the Pan American Health Organization launched a five-year campaign to eradicate poliomyelitis from the Americas. Through a cost/benefit analysis, this article seeks to answer the question: do savings in treatment and rehabilitation costs justify the cost of eradication? Although this question should never come up if the private market for vaccination functioned properly, its answer is a categorical yes. This analysis covers only economic savings, without considering savings in pain, suffering, and loss of productivity. Two different situations are analyzed: one where treatment covers all victims, and a second where it covers only a portion of them. In the first case, the article concludes that current levels of control of the disease have yet to absorb all potential benefits, and consequently, additional eradication efforts are justifiable. In the second, the analysis also finds that eradication is a justifiable investment, even when the only benefits considered are efective reduction in treatment cost- the cost of treating even a small portion of the affected individuals offsets the overal costs of prevention. Finally, the article compares strategies adopted by two hypothetical regions with equal incidence of paralytic poliomyelitis. In region A, the patients are treated but vaccination is only begun five years later because initially the treatment costs are not high enough
Is polio eradication in the Americas economically justified?
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