Ambulance service within a comprehensive intervention for reproductive health in remote settings: A cost-effective intervention

Edgardo Somigliana, Alice Sabino, Richard Nkurunziza, Emmy Okello, Gianluca Quaglio, Peter Lochoro, Giovanni Putoto, Fabio Manenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective To assess the cost-effectiveness of an ambulance service within a comprehensive hospital/community-based program aimed at improving access and quality of reproductive health in poor-resources settings. Methods Obstetrical cases referred to the hospital with the ambulance during a 3-month period were prospectively recorded. Clinical indications were used to determine the effectiveness of the referral; the direct costs of the service were calculated. Overall effectiveness was then measured against WHO thresholds. Results Ninety-two obstetrical referrals were recorded. Eleven (12%) were considered effective, corresponding to 611.7years saved. Cost per year saved was 15.82 US dollars which about half of WHO's 30 US dollar benchmark defining very attractive interventions. Sensitivity analyses on the costs of the ambulance and the rate of effective referrals emphasized the robustness of the result. Conclusions The cost-effectiveness profile of an ambulance service within a series of interventions aimed at improving reproductive health in remote settings is very attractive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1158
Number of pages8
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011



  • Ambulance
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Remote settings
  • Reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology

Cite this