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Malaria treatment in Northern Ghana: What is the treatment cost per case to households?

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Abstract:

Although malaria is a major problem in Sub-Saharan African countries including Ghana, there has been little research on its economic impact, particularly the treatment cost at the household level. This study uses data collected from a random sample of 423 households in Kassena-Nankana district (KND) of northern Ghana. Malaria was ascertained through self-reporting of symptoms using a one-month recall period. The paper presents treatment cost analysis of seeking malaria care to households. Direct and indirect costs to households are estimated and examined in terms of location, severity, and wealth. The study shows that indirect cost accounts for 71 percent of total cost of a malaria episode. While cost of malaria care is estimated at 1 percent of the income of the rich, it is 34 percent of the poor households\' income, suggesting that the burden of malaria is higher for poorer households. In order to reduce the cost of malaria to households, we recommend that the training of malaria volunteers to assist households in the communities to take more responsibility of the disease and also to intensify public education to promote the use of insecticide treated nets, as they have been found to be cost-effective in the prevention of malaria. African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 14 (1-2) 2007: pp. 70-79

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