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Health Policy. 2004 Sep;69(3):389-401.

A study of malaria care provider choice in Ghana.

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Department of Economics, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia.


Improved understanding of the factors that influence malaria care seeking behaviour is necessary in order to enhance the effectiveness of current malaria control strategies. This paper empirically examines the factors that affect household choice of malaria treatment options in Ghana. The treatment options considered were choice of a public provider of health care, a private provider, purchase of drugs from a drug store, or self-medication. The results indicate that treatment and time costs are significant factors affecting the choice of health care provider. Education and household size also play an important role in malaria care seeking behaviour. The demand for malaria care is inelastic with respect to costs, and the magnitudes of the elasticities suggest that malaria care is a necessity. The policy implications are addressed.

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