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Economic and demographic research on malaria: A review of the evidence


  • Gomes, Melba


The primary objective of malaria control is to reduce deaths and illness from the disease. Elimination of infection is far more difficult. However, in most developing countries where malaria is endemic, there are few reliable data on levels, differences and trends in malaria mortality, and its relative importance as a cause of death or illness in endemic communities. The large-scale efforts and resources being devoted to delivery of essential care to mothers and young children in most countries make it important to have a better understanding of the extent of cause-specific child mortality levels in different epidemiological conditions so that appropriate interventions can be targetted at high risk groups and properly evaluated according to their contribution to mortality reduction. As per capital resources necessary in relation to the scale of the problem remain scarce, governments are finding that they must use their available resources more efficiently in meeting their health objectives. In the case of malaria, there are far too few empirical data documenting the marginal costs and benefits of alternative interventions and their response to an expansion (or contraction) of services, and to the level of endemicity and distribution of disease. Equally important, the literature on private costs of malaria (treatment, transportation etc) provides incomplete guidance to gains from control unless the authors begin to examine the policy implications of their results; for example, in many countries there is accumulating evidence that private expenditures outweigh public expenditures on health. What effect does this mix have on infectious diseases like malaria where public sector expenditures on prevention are so important in affecting incidence?

Suggested Citation

  • Gomes, Melba, 1993. "Economic and demographic research on malaria: A review of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1093-1108, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:37:y:1993:i:9:p:1093-1108

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Halkos, George, 1993. "Economic incentives for optimal sulphur abatement in Europe," MPRA Paper 33705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ger Klaassen & David Pearce, 1995. "Introduction," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 85-93, March.
    3. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
    4. Tietenberg, T H, 1990. "Economic Instruments for Environmental Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    5. Halkos, George E., 1993. "Sulphur abatement policy: Implications of cost differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1035-1043, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Claude Berthelemy & Josselin Thuilliez, 2014. "The economics of malaria in Africa," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01045213, HAL.
    2. Cropper, Mauren L. & Haile, Mitiku & Lampieti, Julian A. & Poulos, Christine & Whittington, Dale, 2000. "The value of preventing malaria in Tembien, Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2273, The World Bank.
    3. Josselin Thuilliez, 2007. "Malaria and Primary Education : A cross-country analysis on primary repetition and completion rates," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne bla07013, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. McCarthy, F. Desmond & Wolf, Holger & Yi Wu, 2000. "Malaria and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2303, The World Bank.
    5. Laxminarayan, Ramanan, 2003. "ACT Now or Later: The Economics of Malaria Resistance," Discussion Papers dp-03-51, Resources For the Future.
    6. Temel, Tugrul, 2005. "A systems approach to malaria control: an institutional perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 161-180, February.
    7. Desmond McCarthy & Holger Wolf & Yi Wu, 2000. "The Growth Costs of Malaria," NBER Working Papers 7541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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