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Household cost of seeking malaria care. A retrospective study of two districts in Ghana

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  • Asenso-Okyere, W. K.
  • Dzator, Janet A.

Abstract

Although malaria or fever (as it is commonly referred to) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Ghana, the cost of treating the disease in the country has not been well documented. Knowledge about the cost of treating malaria can affect the health care seeking behaviour of people and justify increased expenditure for malaria control. This study used data collected from 1289 households in two districts in Ghana to estimate the direct and indirect costs of malaria treatment. Malaria was ascertained not by parasitological tests but through symptoms described by the respondents using a recall period of one month. It was found that substantial amount of time was spent in seeking malaria care and taking care of the sick, which makes the indirect cost per case of fever represent 79% of the total cost of seeking treatment in the survey area. The results provide ample economic justification for malaria control. The average cost of treating an episode of the disease including direct costs and the opportunity costs of travel and waiting time amounted to $8.67 or 3.7 days of male output or 4.7 days of female output. When compared with the average five days loss of output for the patient due to malaria morbidity and caretaking, it can be concluded that the cost of controlling malaria is lower than lost earnings or the value of output.

Suggested Citation

  • Asenso-Okyere, W. K. & Dzator, Janet A., 1997. "Household cost of seeking malaria care. A retrospective study of two districts in Ghana," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 659-667, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:45:y:1997:i:5:p:659-667
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Philip Dalinjong & Alexander Laar, 2012. "The national health insurance scheme: perceptions and experiences of health care providers and clients in two districts of Ghana," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-13, December.
    2. A.R. Abdul-Aziz & E. Harris & L. Munyakazi, 2012. "Risk Factors In Malaria Mortality Among Children In Northern Ghana: A Case Study At The Tamale Teaching Hospital," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 2(5), pages 35-45, October.
    3. Andrew Dillon & Jed Friedman & Pieter Serneels, 2014. "Health information, treatment, and worker productivity: Experimental evidence from malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 14-05, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    4. Tin Su & Steffen Flessa, 2013. "Determinants of household direct and indirect costs: an insight for health-seeking behaviour in Burkina Faso," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(1), pages 75-84, February.
    5. Laxminarayan, Ramanan, 2003. "ACT Now or Later: The Economics of Malaria Resistance," Discussion Papers dp-03-51, Resources For the Future.
    6. Chima, Reginald Ikechukwu & Goodman, Catherine A. & Mills, Anne, 2003. "The economic impact of malaria in Africa: a critical review of the evidence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 17-36, January.
    7. Ebere Akobundu & Jing Ju & Lisa Blatt & C. Mullins, 2006. "Cost-of-Illness Studies," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 24(9), pages 869-890, September.
    8. McIntyre, Diane & Thiede, Michael & Dahlgren, Göran & Whitehead, Margaret, 2006. "What are the economic consequences for households of illness and of paying for health care in low- and middle-income country contexts?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 858-865, February.
    9. Onwujekwe, Obinna & Chima, Reginald & Okonkwo, Paul, 2000. "Economic burden of malaria illness on households versus that of all other illness episodes: a study in five malaria holo-endemic Nigerian communities," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 143-159, November.
    10. repec:spr:pharmo:v:1:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s41669-017-0021-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Axel Demenet, 2016. "Health Shocks and Permanent Income Loss: the Household Business Channel," Working Papers DT/2016/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    12. Schaefer, K. Aleks, 2016. "Anti-Malarial Biotechnology, Drug Resistance, and the Dynamics of Disease Management," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235716, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Haenssgen, Marco J. & Ariana, Proochista, 2017. "The Social Implications of Technology Diffusion: Uncovering the Unintended Consequences of People’s Health-Related Mobile Phone Use in Rural India and China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 286-304.
    14. Dzator, Janet & Asafu-Adjaye, John, 2004. "A study of malaria care provider choice in Ghana," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 389-401, September.
    15. Powell-Jackson, Timothy & Hanson, Kara & Whitty, Christopher J.M. & Ansah, Evelyn K., 2014. "Who benefits from free healthcare? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 305-319.
    16. Su, Tin Tin & Sanon, Mamadou & Flessa, Steffen, 2007. "Assessment of indirect cost-of-illness in a subsistence farming society by using different valuation methods," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 83(2-3), pages 353-362, October.
    17. Catherine A. Goodman & Paul G. Coleman & Anne J. Mills, 2001. "Changing the first line drug for malaria treatment-cost-effectiveness analysis with highly uncertain inter-temporal trade-offs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(8), pages 731-749.

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