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The Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy

Malaria

CDDEP researchers previously participated in the Malaria Atlas Project, a spatial database that combines medical intelligence and climate data to track malaria transmission and prevalence. Using a bioeconomic model of malaria transmission and the evolution of drug resistance to define optimal treatment strategies, they are developing a strategic plan to tackle the disease. Regional, cross-border coordination is essential to slow both transmission and the spread of drug-resistant malaria strains.

ACTs, artemisinin-based combination therapies, are effective and can limit the development of further resistance to a valuable antimalarial, but they are expensive. CDDEP researchers estimated the impact, cost, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of an ACT subsidy for malaria treatment targeted at children. Because the vast majority of malaria deaths occur in children, targeting children could potentially improve the cost-effectiveness of the subsidy, though it would avert significantly fewer deaths. The researchers found that the benefits of a child-targeted subsidy (i.e. deaths averted) are eroded as leakage (i.e. older individuals taking young child-targeted doses) increases, with few of the benefits of a universal subsidy gained (i.e. reductions in overall prevalence). Subsidies for ACTs targeted at children could be effective and save costs, but this would depend on how much leakage of the drugs to adults occurs.

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