Financial catastrophe associated with out-of-pocket payments for malaria treatment in children under the age of five years in Zambia.

Thumbnail Image
Sichone, Wanji
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Zambia
Despite major achievements that have been made in controlling malaria, the disease remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Zambia, with one in five under-five children infected with malaria. Most caregivers try to seek optimal health care services for their children in order to replenish their lost stock of health. Since most of them are liquidity constrained, the out-of-pocket payments associated with seeking malaria treatment forces them to resort to hardship methods of financing. For example the results show that, out of the 1120 caregivers of children who had malaria during the first visit; 11.9 percent of caregivers asked a friend/relative to pay, and about 4.9 percent; borrowed money to pay or paid too much (above 10 percent of their income) or sold assets to meet the out-of-pocket expenditures. This may have adverse health and welfare consequences and can potentially lead households into poverty. This study sought to determine the individual factors that influence the likelihood of seeking malaria treatment services and those that influence the risk of experiencing financial catastrophe when seeking malaria treatment services for children under the age of five years in Zambia. This study used data from the 2014 Zambia Household Health Expenditure and Utilisation Survey (ZHHEUS) conducted by the Central Statistical Office (CSO). Binary logistic regression models were used to investigate both the former and the latter. The findings reveal that an increase in per capita monthly expenditure and having a household head that has a secondary school education level, relative to one whose head has no formal education; increases the likelihood of seeking care for a child under the age of five years ceteris paribus. The findings from the second logistic regression model reveal that; less per capital total household monthly expenditure, long distance to health facilities and visiting a private health provider increases the risk of financial catastrophe among caregivers who seek malaria treatment services for children under the age of five years. From the findings, it is recommended that the government should continue with the construction of primary healthcare facilities in order to reduce the costs incurred in seeking professional malaria treatment services due to long distances to health facilities. Further, the government should also escalate malaria awareness campaigns to promote the seeking of malaria treatment services within 24 hours from the onset of symptoms.
Financial risk management. , Malaria--Prevention--Zambia , Malaria--Zambia , Medical care, cost of--Zambia