Household responses to malaria and their costs: a study from rural Sri Lanka

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A study of the cost of malaria at the household level, community perceptions, preventive measures and illness behaviour linked to the disease was undertaken in 5 villages in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The surveyed community had a high knowledge of malaria, although side effects of antimalarial drugs were often confused with symptoms of the disease. The community sought prompt diagnosis and treatment at 'western-type' facilities, with 84% making use of government facilities as their first choice and 16% preferring private facilities. The preventive measures used were burning coils (54% of families) and special leaves (69% of families), and 93% of the families had their houses sprayed with insecticides. Average direct expenditure on a single malaria episode was $3 US, with some families spending more than 10% of the annual household net income per episode. The highest expenditure was on special diets for the sick person, to neutralize the perceived heating effect of the disease and its treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)127-30
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Acetaminophen; Antimalarials; Chloroquine; Cost of Illness; Female; Health Behavior; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Malaria; Male; Mosquito Control; Rural Health; Sri Lanka

ID: 9951024