Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36655869
Link to DOI – 10.7189/jogh.13.04004
J Glob Health 2023 Jan; 13(): 04004
Clinical management of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is complex and access to antiviral treatment remains limited in sub-Saharan Africa. International guidelines recommend monitoring at least annually for disease progression among HBV-infected people not meeting treatment criteria at initial diagnosis. This study aimed to assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of alternative strategies for monitoring.We used a mathematical model of HBV transmission and natural history, calibrated to all available West African data, to project the population-level health impact, costs and cost-effectiveness of different monitoring strategies for HBV-infected individuals not initially eligible for antiviral treatment. We assumed that these patients were found in the year 2020 in a hypothetical community-based screening programme in The Gambia. Monitoring frequencies were varied between every 5 and every 1 year and targeted different age groups.The currently recommended annual monitoring frequency was likely to be not cost-effective in comparison with other strategies in this setting. 5-yearly monitoring in 15-45-year olds, at US$338 per disability-adjusted life year averted, had the highest probability of being the most effective cost-effective monitoring strategy.Monitoring less frequently than once a year is a cost-effective strategy in a community-based HBV screening and treatment programme in The Gambia, with the optimal strategy depending on the cost-effectiveness threshold. Efficiencies may be gained by prioritising the 15-45-year age group for more intensive monitoring.