Cost effectiveness and strategic planning (WHO-CHOICE)

Economic burden of disease

While measurements of morbidity and mortality are key considerations for estimating the burden of disease in populations, they provide an incomplete picture of the adverse impact of ill health on human welfare. In particular, the economic consequences of poor health can be substantial.

Analysis of the economic impact of ill-health addresses a number of policy questions concerning the consequences of disease or injury. Some of these questions relate to the microeconomic level of households, firms or government – such as the impact of ill-health on a household’s income or a firm’s profits – while others relate to the macroeconomic level, including the aggregate impact of a disease on a country’s current and future gross domestic product (GDP).

WHO proposes a defined conceptual framework within which the economic impact of diseases and injuries can be considered and appropriately estimated.

A new, improved tool is currently being developed for economic buden analysis, with expected availability at the end of September 2015.


  • Health Systems Financing
    Cost-effectiveness analysis and its implementation via CHOICE is part of health systems financing.