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How Malaria Affects Communities
Malaria disproportionately affects people who can’t afford treatment or have limited access to health care, keeping families and communities in poverty.
Forty percent of the world’s population lives in malaria-endemic countries. Malaria can decrease gross domestic product by as much as 1.3 percent in countries with high disease rates. Over the long term, these economic losses add up, resulting in substantial differences in GDP between countries with and without malaria, particularly in Africa.
The health costs of malaria include both personal and public expenditures on prevention and treatment. In some malaria endemic countries, the disease accounts for:
- Up to 40 percent of public health expenditures;
- 30 percent to 50 percent of inpatient hospital admissions;
- Up to 60 percent of outpatient health clinic visits.
On top of the burden on local healthcare systems, malaria illness and death cost Africa approximately $12 billion each year in lost productivity. The effects permeate almost every sector. Malaria:
- Increases school absenteeism
- Decreases tourism
- Inhibits foreign investment
- Affects crop production
Malaria is a big problem – and the disease has big consequences for families, communities, and countries. Fortunately, there are small things that can help make a huge impact in the fight against malaria. It’s easy to help: Nothing But Nets works with our UN partners to prevent malaria by sending nets to save lives.
*Facts from the World Health Organization