Missing the mark on malaria?A quantitative study of the effects of the 2007 Malawian malaria treatment change on under-five mortality

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för nationalekonomi med statistik

Abstract: Malaria continues to impose a high burden on the Malawian population, in particular on children under the age of five, accounting for about 20 percent of all deaths among under-fives in 2000. In an effort to curb these numbers, the Malawian government launched a new Malaria Strategic Plan in 2005, aimed at reducing malaria morbidity and mortality. As part of this policy the treatment regimen for malaria was changed in accordance to the World Health Organization recommendations in December 2007. This paper aims to analyze the consequences of this change by examining the effects of the new treatment on the group most severely affected by malaria – children under the age of five. Using a Difference-in-difference method I estimate the impact on under-five mortality by combining data on in-patient malaria mortality among under-fives, and data from the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey. My strategy generated results that show no significant effect of the new and better treatment on the considered age group. Rather, my findings seem to counter previous theories on higher income and educational levels reducing child mortality, suggesting further studies in the particular context are needed

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