Discussion Paper

Does Reducing Malaria Improve Household Living Standards?

Oct 3, 2003 | Ramanan Laxminarayan


Living in malaria-endemic regions places an economic burden on households even if they do notactually suffer an episode of malaria. Households living with endemic malaria are less likely to haveaccess to economic opportunities and may have to modify agricultural practices and other householdbehavior to adapt to their disease environment. Data from Vietnam demonstrate that reductions in malariaincidence through government-financed malaria control programs can contribute to higher householdincome for all households living in endemic areas. Empirically, a 10% decrease in malaria cases at thenational level translates to a roughly US$30 million annual economic benefit in the form of improvedliving standards.