The economic burden of malaria among households at Mampong in the Sekyere-West District

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The research was conducted to assess the economic burden of malaria attack on households in ten randomly selected communities at Mampong in the Sekyere West District. The study was descriptive and employed both qualitative and quantitative methods. The data was collected from household heads or household member who had malaria attack and had fully recovered during the last two months prior to the study using pre-tested interview guide. Information was collected on the amount of money household spent to treat malaria, together with the time lost due to malaria illness within two months prior to the interview. The findings of the study showed that, on average a household incurred a total cost of ¢103,242.23 per patient who fully recovered from malaria. 45.3% of this was direct cost, and 54.7% indirect cost for the patient. Notably a large proportion of direct cost (51.7%) was spent on drugs for treatment of malaria. Indirect cost was measured and valued on the basis of rural specific wage rate at the household level. The average person’s days lost during an episode of malaria illness at the survey was approximately four fully disabled days. Loss of output and wages accounted for the highest proportion of the indirect cost of the patients. The study demonstrated that if both the direct and indirect costs are calculated, it cost a huge amount, (33.60%) of the rural household income per month in the communities. Community-effective malaria control programs are needed to reduce this burden on the households.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of in Health Services Planning and Management, 2004