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Research: Suppression of malaria transmission and increases in economic productivity in African countries from 2007 to 2011

March 7, 2014 - 11:10 -- Ingeborg van Schayk
William R. Jobin
MWJ 2014, 5, 4

To test the assumption that reductions in malaria in Africa will increase economic productivity, a correlation-regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact ofexpenditures by the US President’s Malaria Initiative for Africa (PMI), and increases in the economic productivity of countries included in the PMI. For the 12 most representative countries the per capita expenditures for malaria suppression in the 2011 budget of the PMI were compared with observed increases in per capita economic productivity. The measure of economic productivity used was the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period 2007 to 2011. With a mean annual expenditure for suppressing malaria slightly above 1 US dollar per capita (range 0.44-3.40), there was a positive but weak correlation of higher expenditures with increased economic productivity. The correlation coefficient r was 0.5. The increase in per capita GDP in these countries over the 4-year period varied between 60 and 200 USD. The slope of the regression line and thus the ratio of benefits to cost from this programme varied slightly between ecologic zones, but the mean was 6.75 to 1. This meant that there was an increase in per capita GDP of $6.75 for every $1 invested per capita in suppressing malaria. The high benefits to cost ratio from the PMI makes suppression of malaria by methods used by the initiative potentially an attractive investment, at least for the near future while the biocides and drugs deployed are still effective.

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