Malaria, productivity and access to treatment

Project overview

Project lead: Andrew Dillon, International Food Policy Research Institute

Start date: 1 August 2012

End date: 25 August 2016

Research Council project page

The consequences of ill health for productivity and economic development are presumed to be severe yet there is little rigorous evidence to support such a linkage.

For this research project, a mobile health clinic was established on a plantation and used an exogenously determined order to test and treat workers for malaria. Despite the positive effect of treatment, the project found that there are low rates of workers seeking curative and preventative treatments. To understand the reason for this, this study offered access to malaria treatment and insurance at varied prices to estimate its effect on take-up and frequency of health care.

In another study phase, the effect of treatment on both worker productivity and physical activity was measured. The effects of malaria on physical activity in general were then measured to allow the team to extend their findings in this context to other physical occupations in areas in which malaria is endemic.