Malaria Policy: Alternative Prevention and Eradication Strategies in a Dynamic Model
As many as one million deaths annually are attributed to malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes. The heaviest burdens of malaria are found in poor tropical countries, where medical systems are often ill-equipped to treat the sick, and where public health programs may lack the resources for effective and sustainable campaigns of prevention and control. In recent years, the international community has, perhaps belatedly, increased the funding for malaria programs. Some donors have invested heavily also in scientific research on malaria, such as vaccine and drug development. Others have advocated subsidies for inexpensive and available controls, such as distributing bed nets, or spraying insecticides and larvicides that would target mosquito populations. Relatively little quantitative analysis has guided these investments, however. This paper reports on an effort to compare alternative control and prevention strategies, using a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents that incorporates some essential economic and epidemiological features. We compare steady-state equilibria produced by alternative treatment and control methods, and we use these to calculate the costs and benefits of different approaches to malaria control.
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