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Research: Economic aspects of suppressing malaria in Africa

September 22, 2014 - 13:59 -- Bart G.J. Knols
William R. Jobin
MWJ2014, 5, 8
Article type: 
The purpose of this study was to determine whether investments in suppressing malaria might produce significant benefits for African nations. Two epidemiologic analyses wereused in parallel to evaluate data from Africa: a before-after comparison of countries treated under the US President’s Malaria Initiative for Africa (PMI), and a simultaneous comparison of treated-untreated countries. From 2007 to 2012, relative increases in population and gross domestic product (GDP) were greater in 14 countries treated as part of PMI than in 9 similar, but untreated countries. In the treated countries the relative increase in the GDP of 0.61 before malaria suppression rose to 0.64 afterwards; whereas in the untreated countries it fell from 0.67 to 0.56. The increase in GDP in the 14 treated countries that was attributable to malaria suppression over the 5-year interval was about $4.77 billion. During that period, the mean cost of suppressing malaria had been about $1.43 billion, indicating a return on the investment of 3.4 to 1. However, the costs began rising steeply in 2012. Malaria suppression might be worthwhile for African countries to undertake themselves, as long as the biocides and drugs in current use remain effective.

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