Commitment Mechanisms and Compliance with Health-protecting Behavior: Preliminary Evidence from Orissa (India)
Transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria is one fo the major global health burdens, with a global incidence of 300-660 million cases every year. Malaria infection may develop into severe febrile episodes and lead to chronic disease and possibly death, and is particularly dire among young children and pregnant women. Numerous studies have shown that insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) are one of the most effective means of reducing malaria related morbidity and mortality. However, ITN adoption in most malaria areas remains very low and public health interventions frequently have insufficient resources to provide complete ITN coverage for all individuals at risk. Cost is often cited as the most obvious explanation for low usage, but another likely factor is the lack of proper information about potential benefits. The difficulty of inducing sustained compliance with health-protecting behavior is a common obstacle in public health initiatives. Researchers have argued that commitment devices can help poor households to overcome time-inconsistency in their preferences.
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