World Health & Population

World Health & Population July 2003 .doi:10.12927/whp.2003.17623

The Economic Benefits of Malaria Prevention: A Contingent Valuation Study in Marracuene, Mozambique

Dale Whittington, Armando Castelar Pinheiro and Maureen Cropper

Abstract

A contingent valuation (CV) survey was conducted in Marracuene, Mozambique, a very low-income, malaria-endemic community about 50 kilometers north of Maputo, to estimate adults' perceived economic benefits of avoiding malaria. Interviews were conducted with 282 individuals in which respondents were asked whether they would purchase a hypothetical malaria vaccine that would prevent malaria for one year if it cost them a specified price. The average respondent's willingness to pay to avoid the (high) risk of contracting malaria for one year was approximately US$14, equivalent to about seven chickens in the local economy. Their responses to these CV questions suggest that the economic benefits to even very poor individuals are larger than many observers have assumed, and that the potential revenues available from low-income rural communities may be substantial. The estimates of the average adult's willingness to pay for the malaria vaccine are the three to four times higher than estimates based on a simple cost-of-illness approach.

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