Malaria still claims a heavy human and economic toll, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. Even though the causality between malaria and poverty is presumably bi-directional, malaria plays a role in the economic difficulties of the region. This article provides an analysis of the economic consequences of malaria (with an emphasis on human capital accumulation and productivity), and a discussion of policies aimed at reducing its incidence.
A major initiative has been the distribution of insecticidal bed-nets at a highly subsidized price. An economic-epidemiology model is used to explain why such policy is doomed to fail in presence of a very high poverty incidence, as observed in the African region.