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Fever and its treatment among the more and less poor in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Filmer, Deon

The author empirically explores the relationship between household poverty and the incidence and treatment of fever--as an indicator of malaria--among children in Sub-Saharan Africa. He uses household Demographic and Health Survey data collected in the 1990s from 22 countriesin which malaria is prevalent. The analysis reveals a positive, but weak, association between reported fever and poverty. The geographic association becomes insignificant, however, after controlling for the mother's education. There is some evidence that higher levels of wealth in other households in the cluster in which the household lives are associated with lower levels of reported fever in Eastern and Southern Africa. Poverty and the type of care sought for an episode of fever are significantly associated: wealthier households are substantially more likely to seek care in the modern health sector. In Central and Western Africa those from richer households are more likely to seek care from all types of sources: government hospitals, lower-level public facilities such as health clinics, as well as private sources. In Eastern and Southern Africa the rich are primarily more likely to seek care from private facilities. In both regions there is substantial use of private facilities--use that increases with wealth. Like the incidence of fever, treatment-seeking behavior is strongly associated with the level of wealth in the cluster in which the child lives.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2798.

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Date of creation: 31 Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2798
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  1. McCarthy, F. Desmond & Wolf, Holger & Yi Wu, 2000. "Malaria and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2303, The World Bank.
  2. Mwenesi, Halima & Harpham, Trudy & Snow, Robert W., 1995. "Child malaria treatment practices among mothers in Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1271-1277, May.
  3. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
  4. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1996. "Measurement and Mismeasurement of Social Indicators," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 30-34, May.
  5. Mark Montgomery & Michele Gragnolati & Kathleen Burke & Edmundo Paredes, 2000. "Measuring living standards with proxy variables," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 155-174, May.
  6. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2000. "The Economic Burden of Malaria," CID Working Papers 52, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  7. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
  8. Sindelar, J. & Thomas, D., 1991. "Measurement of Child Health: Maternal Response Bias," Papers 633, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. McCombie, S. C., 1996. "Treatment seeking for malaria: A review of recent research," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 933-945, September.
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