Social and Economic Burden Associated With Typhoid Fever in Kathmandu and Surrounding Areas: A Qualitative Study

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The Journal of infectious diseases


Typhoid fever is a significant contributor to infectious disease mortality and morbidity in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in South Asia. With increasing antimicrobial resistance, commonly used treatments are less effective and risks increase for complications and hospitalizations. During an episode of typhoid fever, households experience multiple social and economic costs that are often undocumented. In the current study, qualitative interview data from Kathmandu and surrounding areas provide important insights into the challenges that affect those who contract typhoid fever and their caregivers, families, and communities, as well as insight into prevention and treatment options for health providers and outreach workers. When considering typhoid fever cases confirmed by blood culture, our data reveal delays in healthcare access, financial and time costs burden on households, and the need to increase health literacy. These data also illustrate the impact of limited laboratory diagnostic equipment and tools on healthcare providers' abilities to distinguish typhoid fever from other febrile conditions and treatment challenges associated with antimicrobial resistance. In light of these findings, there is an urgent need to identify and implement effective preventive measures including vaccination policies and programs focused on at-risk populations and endemic regions such as Nepal.

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