Introduction This paper presents the costs and cost-effectiveness of ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health: Sinovuyo Teen’, a non-commercialised parenting programme aimed at preventing violence against adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries.
Methods The effectiveness of Sinovuyo Teen was evaluated with a cluster randomised controlled trial in 40 villages and peri-urban townships in the Eastern Cape of South Africa from 2015 to 2016. The costs of implementation were calculated retrospectively and models of costs at scale estimated, from the perspective of the programme provider. Cost-effectiveness analysis considers both the cost per incident of abuse averted, and cost per disability-adjusted life year averted. Potential economic benefits from the societal perspective were estimated by developing a framework of possible savings.
Results The total implementation cost for Sinovuyo Teen over the duration of the trial was US$135 954, or US$504 per family enrolled. Among the 270 families in the treatment group, an estimated 73 incidents of physical and emotional abuse were averted (95% CI 29 to 118 incidents averted). During the trial, the total cost per incident of physical or emotional abuse averted was US$1837, which is likely to decrease to approximately US$972 if implemented at scale. By comparison, the economic benefits of averting abuse in South Africa are large with an estimated lifetime saving of US$2724 minimum per case.
Conclusion Parenting programmes are a cost-effective intervention to prevent the abuse of adolescents by their caregivers in South Africa, when compared with existing violence prevention programmes and cost-effectiveness thresholds based on GDP per capita.
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