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DALYs, dollars and dogs: How best to analyse the economics of controlling zoonoses


Shaw, A P M; Rushton, J; Roth, F; Torgerson, Paul R (2017). DALYs, dollars and dogs: How best to analyse the economics of controlling zoonoses. Scientific and Technical Review of the Office International des Epizooties, 36(1):147-161.

Abstract

Decision makers increasingly require Compreh. Econ. metrics summarising and comparing the benefits and costs of controlling zoonotic diseases. The impact of disease in people is conventionally quantified in non-monetary terms, usually a disability-Adjusted life year (DALY), whereas the losses due to disease in animals, particularly livestock, are quantified in monetary terms. The potential for the development of a non-monetary metric for ill health in animals, based on life years lost and disability, is discussed and rejected. Within and across animal species and livestock production systems, maximising life spans is not a consistent goal and morbidity/disabilities have very different weights and often lead to culling. By relating livestock losses to a measure of national income forgone, the recently developed alternative of converting monetary losses due to livestock illness into an animal loss equivalent (ALE) provides a viable solution. Based on this, the literature on the economics of controlling zoonoses is revisited and four options for quantifying and comparing benefits and costs are examined and illustrated using numerical examples. These are i) the simplistic grouping of all monetary elements and their comparison to DALYs averted (described as the aggregate net cost method), ii) the separable costs method, iii)the use of ALEsto convert all benefits to a non-monetary equivalent, termed the zoonotic DALY (zDALY), or iv) the use of a full monetary cost-benefit analysis, based on converting DALYs to a monetary equivalent. The strengths and weaknesses of each are discussed. For effective prioritisation and decision-making, it is vital that an analytical approach is widely adopted which yields consistent results and which supports the control of zoonoses.

Abstract

Decision makers increasingly require Compreh. Econ. metrics summarising and comparing the benefits and costs of controlling zoonotic diseases. The impact of disease in people is conventionally quantified in non-monetary terms, usually a disability-Adjusted life year (DALY), whereas the losses due to disease in animals, particularly livestock, are quantified in monetary terms. The potential for the development of a non-monetary metric for ill health in animals, based on life years lost and disability, is discussed and rejected. Within and across animal species and livestock production systems, maximising life spans is not a consistent goal and morbidity/disabilities have very different weights and often lead to culling. By relating livestock losses to a measure of national income forgone, the recently developed alternative of converting monetary losses due to livestock illness into an animal loss equivalent (ALE) provides a viable solution. Based on this, the literature on the economics of controlling zoonoses is revisited and four options for quantifying and comparing benefits and costs are examined and illustrated using numerical examples. These are i) the simplistic grouping of all monetary elements and their comparison to DALYs averted (described as the aggregate net cost method), ii) the separable costs method, iii)the use of ALEsto convert all benefits to a non-monetary equivalent, termed the zoonotic DALY (zDALY), or iv) the use of a full monetary cost-benefit analysis, based on converting DALYs to a monetary equivalent. The strengths and weaknesses of each are discussed. For effective prioritisation and decision-making, it is vital that an analytical approach is widely adopted which yields consistent results and which supports the control of zoonoses.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Chair in Veterinary Epidemiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:05 Oct 2017 13:21
Last Modified:19 Mar 2018 08:36
Publisher:OIE World Organisation for Animal Health
Number of Pages:15
ISSN:0253-1933
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.2050B/rst.36.1.2618

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