The high costs of cancer treatment and lack of investment in health care are significant obstacles to public health on the African continent. The objective of this study was to estimate the financial cost of treating children suffering from cancer in Africa. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of expert opinions between March 2000 and March 2020. The key search terms included ‘cost’, ‘cancer’ and ‘child’; we selected articles that specifically addressed the financial costs of childhood cancer in African countries. Of the 103 articles found, 18 met the inclusion criteria. Cancer care was a heavy financial burden in most of the countries studied, although costs varied from country to country; the average expenditure on healthcare was US$1017.39 ± US$319.1 per year. In countries without a health insurance system, the highest proportion of cancer care costs, 46.6%, was indirect, whereas in countries with a cancer financing system, the direct cost of treatment was low, 53.4%. The cost of treating childhood cancer is high in Africa in relation to the standard of living of individuals residing in this region.
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