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Is Malaria Illness among Young Children a Cause or a Consequence of Low Socioeconomic Status? Evidence from the United Republic of Tanzania
Authors: de Castro MC, Fisher MG.
Source: Malaria Journal, 11(1):161. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-11-161.
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Africa
Published: MAY 2012
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Malaria is commonly considered a disease of the poor, but there is very little evidence of a possible two-way causality in the association between malaria and poverty. Until now, limitations to examine that dual relationship were the availability of representative data on confirmed malaria cases, the use of a good proxy for poverty, and accounting for endogeneity in regression models. METHODS: A simultaneous equation model was estimated with nationally representative data for Tanzania that included malaria parasite testing with RDTs for young children (six-59?months), and accounted for environmental variables assembled with the aid of GIS. A wealth index based on assets, access to utilities/infrastructure, and housing characteristics was used as a proxy for socioeconomic status. Model estimation was done with instrumental variables regression. RESULTS: Results show that households with a child who tested positive for malaria at the time of the survey had a wealth index that was, on average, 1.9 units lower (p-value?