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Trop Med Int Health. 2007 Oct;12(10):1139-47.

Economic burden of malaria in rural Tanzania: variations by socioeconomic status and season.

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Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.



To determine the economic burden of malaria in a rural Tanzanian setting and identify any differences by socioeconomic status and season.


Interviews of 557 households in south eastern Tanzania between May and December 2004, on consumption and malaria-related costs.


Malaria-related expenses were significantly higher in the dry, non-malarious season than in the rainy season. Households sought treatment more frequently and from more expensive service providers in the dry season, when they have more money. Malaria expenses did not vary significantly across socioeconomic status quintiles, but poorer households spent a higher proportion of their consumption in both seasons.


Poorer households bear a greater economic burden from malaria relative to their consumption than better-off households. Households are particularly vulnerable to malaria in the rainy season, when malaria prevalence is highest but liquidity is lower. Alternative strategies to assist households to cope with seasonal liquidity issues, including insurance, should be investigated.

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