Economic impact of febrile morbidity and use of permethrin-impregnated bed-nets in a malarious area I. Study of demographics, morbidity, and household expenditures associated with febrile morbidity in the Republic of Benin.
In preparation for a study on the effect of bed net use on malaria, this article describes febrile morbidity and malaria expenditures in a sub-Saharan area (Benin) of hyperendemic malaria. The 325 randomly selected households were visited weekly between April 1994 and March 1995 to determine febrile morbidity and household expenditures for prevention and treatment. The results indicate that rural children had two febrile episodes annually compared with 0.3 episodes among children living in the city. There was no difference in mean annual febrile episodes between adults and children (adults = 1.5, children = 1.5; P = 0.48) and in the expenditures per febrile episode (adults = US$1.85, children = US$1.62; P = 0.45). Annual prevention expenditures were higher for adults than for children (US$1.73 and US$1.28, respectively; P < 0.001), although there was no significant difference in expenditures for annual treatment for adults and children (US$2.15 and US$2.34, respectively). These and other findings are analyzed further and discussed.