How Does Malaria Control Impact the Health System?

An HFG study in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene finds that facility-level resources were freed up as malaria was controlled at two hospitals in Zambia, potentially making  those resources available for addressing other diseases and health conditions. The study, “Hospitalizations and Costs Incurred at the Facility Level after Scale-up of Malaria Control: Pre-Post Comparisons from Two Hospitals in Zambia” used retrospective, longitudinal facility-level and patient record data to report a pre-post comparison of hospital admissions and outpatient visits for malaria and estimated costs incurred for malaria admissions before and after malaria control scale-up.

The results show a substantial reduction in inpatient admissions and outpatient visits for malaria at both hospitals after the scale-up, and malaria cases accounted for a smaller proportion of total hospital visits over time. Hospital spending on malaria admissions also decreased. In one hospital, malaria accounted for 11% of total hospital spending before large-scale malaria control compared with <1% after malaria control. The findings demonstrate that facility-level resources are freed up as malaria is controlled, potentially making these resources available for other health needs.

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