The cost and effective analysis of health care management of very low birth weight babies in rural areas of West Bengal, India

Kripasindhu Chatterjee, Prodyut Kumar Mandal, Sk. Rafikul Rahaman, Anustup Paul, Nabendu Chaudhuri, Sukanta Sen


Background: Low birth weight (LBW) is prevalent in low-income countries. Level II neonatal intensive care at SCNUs is cost intensive. Rational use of SCNU services by targeting its utilization for the VLBW neonates and maintenance of community based newborn care is required.  Even though the economic evaluation of interventions to reduce this burden is essential to guide health care policy making for low resource setting, data on low cost outcome study associated with LBW in Indian setup are scarce.  

Methods: This study aims to estimate the costs to the health system in the management of LBW in rural setting where affordability of parents for healthcare facility comparatively less. The cost of management was cut off by minimum investigations, more supervision by working health care personnel’s. A prospective observational study was conducted to see outcome of estimate the costs to the health system in the management of LBW or VLBW babies.

Results: The mortality and survival rate among the evaluated LBW under this low cost health care setting was 6.66% and 86.6% respectively.

Conclusions: Results of this unique cost and effectiveness evaluation of LBW healthcare management in a low resource setting are very relevant in Indian context where healthcare facility is almost out of reach and affordability in majority rural populations. These results are of relevance for similar settings and should serve to promote interventions aimed at improving maternal care in rural settings. Further larger research is required on cost effectiveness of level II neonatal intensive care.



Health care cost, LBW, Economic evaluation, Infant deaths

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