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The treatment gap for serious mental disorders across low-income countries is estimated to be 89%. The model for Mental Health and Development (MHD) offers community-based care for people with mental disorders in 11 low- and middle-income countries.
In Kenya, using a pre-post design, 117 consecutively enrolled participants with schizophrenia-spectrum and bipolar disorders were followed-up at 10 and 20 months. Comparison outcomes were drawn from the literature. Costs were analysed from societal and health system perspectives.
From the societal perspective, MHD cost Int$ 594 per person in the first year and Int$ 876 over 2 years. The cost per healthy day gained was Int$ 7.96 in the first year and Int$ 1.03 over 2 years – less than the agricultural minimum wage. The cost per disability-adjusted life year averted over 2 years was Int$ 13.1 and Int$ 727 from the societal and health system perspectives, respectively, on par with antiretrovirals for HIV.
MHD achieved increasing returns over time. The model appears cost-effective and equitable, especially over 2 years. Its affordability relies on multi-sectoral participation nationally and internationally.
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