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Economic impact of malaria treatment on resource-limited households in Akwa Ibom: A case of selected LGAs

October 10, 2021 - 15:32 -- Nsikan Affiah
Author(s): 
Nsikan Affiah, Ndifreke James, Sunkanmi Fadoju, Idara James, Chimankpam Uzoma
Reference: 
Article type: 
Research
Abstract: 
Background: Up to 97% of the population in Nigeria live under the risk of malaria and 76% in high transmission areas; 50% of the population estimated to have at least one episode of malaria yearly, with the incidence of about 2 to 4 episodes among children every year. The expenditure on malaria represents over 40% of curative healthcare costs with catastrophic impact on the microeconomic level where households are represented. 
Objectives: To determine the economic cost of treating malaria and the health-seeking behaviour of households in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.
Method: A cross sectional descriptive study among 640 households across the 3 LGAs of the survey. Quantitative method was used to gather information and collected data were analyzed using SPSS software with the result on the cost of malaria treatment estimated using the prevailing interbank exchange rate of 197 Naira per SDU in 2015 and 379 in 2021.
Results: The results showed that 55.7% of households preferred visiting drug stores for malaria treatment. Total cost was made up of 44.7% of direct cost and 55.3% of indirect cost, with average direct cost of malaria treatment per household estimated at 8,563.77 Naira (22.60 USD) and the average indirect cost of treatment per household estimated at 10,437.09 Naira (27.54 USD). Average total cost for each episode (888) of malaria was estimated at 9,305.51 Naira (22.55 USD) while at the household level, the average total cost was estimated at 18,868.10 Naira (49.78 USD).
Conclusions: Low-income households spend 36% of monthly household income on treating malaria compared to high-income households with spending of only 1.2%. The cost of malaria treatment is well beyond the means of the households and given the reality of repeated bouts of malaria and its contribution to the impoverishment of households necessitating increase investment in treatment and preventive intervention.
Background: Up to 97% of the population in Nigeria live under the risk of malaria and 76% in high transmission areas; 50% of the population estimated to have at least one episode of malaria yearly, with the incidence of about 2 to 4 episodes among children every year. The expenditure on malaria represents over 40% of curative healthcare costs with catastrophic impact on the microeconomic level where households are represented. 
Objectives: To determine the economic cost of treating malaria and the health-seeking behaviour of households in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.
Method: A cross sectional descriptive study among 640 households across the 3 LGAs of the survey. Quantitative method was used to gather information and collected data were analyzed using SPSS software with the result on the cost of malaria treatment estimated using the prevailing interbank exchange rate of 197 Naira per SDU in 2015 and 379 in 2021.
Results: The results showed that 55.7% of households preferred visiting drug stores for malaria treatment. Total cost was made up of 44.7% of direct cost and 55.3% of indirect cost, with average direct cost of malaria treatment per household estimated at 8,563.77 Naira (22.60 USD) and the average indirect cost of treatment per household estimated at 10,437.09 Naira (27.54 USD). Average total cost for each episode (888) of malaria was estimated at 9,305.51 Naira (22.55 USD) while at the household level, the average total cost was estimated at 18,868.10 Naira (49.78 USD).
Conclusions: Low-income households spend 36% of monthly household income on treating malaria compared to high-income households with spending of only 1.2%. The cost of malaria treatment is well beyond the means of the households and given the reality of repeated bouts of malaria and its contribution to the impoverishment of households necessitating increase investment in treatment and preventive intervention.