ECONOMIC BURDEN OF MALARIA IN TANZANIA: AN INVESTIGATION OF CHILDREN UNDER FIVE YEARS
Chamwali, Lihoya Anthony
University of Dar es Salaam
The importance of having good health for both parents and their children cannot be ignored, as it allows households to participate effectively in activities which earn them income. This study analyzes the economic burden of malaria in Tanzania for households with children under five years. Specifically it examines the effect of the presence of the under five malaria admissions on households’ incomes and wages, estimates the effect of the presence of under five malaria admissions on households’ agricultural output and finds out the determinants of under five malaria admissions. The study uses the Tanzania National Panel Survey (TNPS) data set which was conducted in three waves by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The first, second and third waves were conducted in years 2008/9, 2010/11 and 2012/13 respectively. The survey covered more than 3000 households in each wave. But for the purpose of this study, more than 600 households who had under five children and who were interviewed in all the three rounds formed the main sample size of the study. A fixed effect model is used to analyze the effect of the presence of the under five malaria admissions on households’ wages and incomes. Ordinary Least Square (OLS) is used to analyze the effect of the presence of the under five malaria admissions on households’ agricultural output and the panel logit regression model is used to find the determinants of the under five malaria admissions. The results reveal that the presence of the under five children admitted with malaria in a household burdens households as its income and wages are reduced by 12.06 percent and 6.6 percent respectively, while households’ agricultural output was reduced by 18.94 percent in 2008/9 and by 28.94 percent in 2012/13 holding climate related factors constant. The study has also revealed that a large size of the household , age of the household head and sources of drinking water (both well water, river water and piped water) put the under five children at risk of having malaria admissions. The policy implications of the findings are that the government needs to focus on the prevention of malaria through indoor and outdoor spraying in addition to the distribution of free mosquito nets. A malaria free society will allow households to increase hours of work in productive activities and this will increase their incomes. Households will also become food secure if malaria rates are reduced due to effective participation in agricultural activities.Besides, the government needs to ensure that leaking pipes are repaired timely so as to reduce the mosquitoes breeding places, especially ponds of leaked water around homes.