Cervical cancer prevention in Morocco: a model-based cost-effectiveness analysis

J Med Econ. 2019 Nov;22(11):1153-1159. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2019.1624556. Epub 2019 Jun 17.


Objective: Cervical cancer is a huge public health issue in Morocco which represents the second most frequent and fatal cancer among women. Countries that have not yet introduced the HPV vaccine could benefit greatly, but before implementation it is necessary to perform country-specific economic assessments that include current screening practices. Methods: A Markov model was developed to simulate the natural history of HPV and cervical cancer so as to calculate the long-term health benefits and costs of HPV vaccination and current screening by visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA). Starting from a previous transition probability matrix used for a model from Spain, the present model was calibrated to cervical cancer incidence from Morocco. Cost survey data was used to estimate the cost of screening and clinical procedures from the public healthcare perspective. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated as 2018US$ per additional year of life saved (YLS) and both costs and health outcomes were discounted at 3%. Results: The expected reduction in lifetime risk of cervical cancer for current screening would be 14% at a cost of US$551/YLS compared with no intervention, assuming VIA every 3 years in women aged 30-49 at 10% coverage. HPV vaccination of pre-adolescent girls at 70% coverage would reduce the lifetime risk of cervical cancer by 62% at a cost of US$1,150/YLS, compared with no intervention. When implementing HPV vaccination in combination with current screening, vaccination would be dominated, and the combined strategy would provide a 69% reduction at a cost of US$2,843/YLS, compared with screening alone. Current screening would be dominated by vaccination when screening coverage is higher than 15%, whereas the combined strategy rapidly exceeds US$4,000/YLS. Conclusions: HPV vaccination could be highly effective and cost-effective in Morocco. Current screening would be good value for money compared with no intervention, but scaling-up screening coverage would make it inefficient compared with vaccination.

Keywords: Cervical cancer; HPV vaccination; I18; I19; cost-effectiveness; low-resource settings; screening; visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Early Detection of Cancer / economics*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Markov Chains
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Econometric
  • Morocco
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / economics*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines