Systematic review summarizes the economic evidence on malaria control and elimination

The Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) published an article in Malaria Journal exploring a systematic review of the economics of malaria control and elimination. The review brings together evidence on the health system costs and economic and financial benefits of malaria programs in different settings.

The article, authored by Rima Shretta, Anton Avanceña, and Arian Hatefi, collates and analyzes 54 peer-reviewed and grey literature available on or before September 2014. The review found that

  • The annual cost per capita of malaria control ranged from $0.11 to $39.06 (median: $2.21), while for malaria elimination it was $0.18 to $27.00 (median: $3.00);
  • The immediate costs of malaria elimination are equal to or higher than those of control and are likely to decrease in the prevention of reintroduction phase;
  • Reductions in malaria burden have been associated with increased household spending and consumption, less work disability and higher incomes, greater wealth, and GDP growth; and
  • Cost-benefit analyses show that the benefits of investing in malaria greatly outweigh the costs (benefit-cost ratios range from 2.4 to over 145).

Differences in the mix and coverage of malaria interventions, as well as the assumptions and methodologies used in economic evaluation, generated varying costs and benefits across studies. Nonetheless the findings of this review can be used in planning and resource allocation for malaria, particularly in endemic countries where robust economic analyses on control and elimination have not been conducted.