Is malaria a disease of poverty? A review of the literature


To review the evidence on the link between malaria and poverty.

Review of the published and grey literature to identify (i) the data available on the socio-economic distribution of malaria incidence and vulnerability, and (ii) the uptake of malaria control interventions.

We found mixed evidence on malaria incidence, with a number of studies identifying no relationship between socio-economic status and incidence, although a larger number of studies do find a link. There is strong evidence that uptake of preventive and treatment interventions is closely related to proxies for socio-economic status. More generally, the quality of the literature examining this issue is highly variable, with many different measures of socio-economic status and often inadequate descriptions of methods of data collection and analysis in relation to socio-economic status.

Important socio-economic differentials exist in access to malaria interventions, increasing the vulnerability of the poorest. More information is needed about how other methods of delivering malaria treatment and prevention can redress these inequalities.


Tropical Medicine and International Health (2005) 10 (10) 1047-1059 [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2005.01476.x]

Is malaria a disease of poverty? A review of the literature

Published 12 September 2006