The relationship between the socio-economic status (SES) of a household and its sources of malaria diagnosis and treatment was explored in south-eastern Nigeria. One aim was to see if, as seems likely, the poorest people generally seek care from \"low-level\" providers, such as traditional healers and community-based healthworkers, because of their severe budget constraints. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to collect information from 1197 randomly selected respondents from four villages where malaria is holo-endemic. An index was used to categorize the study households into SES quartiles. The self-diagnosis of presumptive malaria and the use of patent-medicine dealers for treatment were very common among all the SES groupings. Compared with the other interviewees, however, the least-poor were significantly more likely to rely on laboratory tests for diagnosis and to visit hospitals when seeking treatment for presumptive malaria. The most-poor, in contrast, were significantly more likely to seek treatment from traditional healers or community-based healthworkers. Thus, even though the use of low-level providers was so common, there was still evidence of wealth-related inequity - in terms of the probabilities of the good diagnosis and treatment of malaria. Improvements in the quality of malaria diagnosis and treatment by the providers patronised by the most-poor villagers would help to redress this inequity, at least in the short- to medium-term.
Onwujekwe, O.; Ojukwu, J.; Uzochukwu, B.; Dike, A.; Ikeme, A.; Shu. E. Where do people from different socio&#8211;economic groups receive diagnosis and treatment for presumptive malaria, in south&#8211;eastern Nigeria? Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology (2005) 99 (5) 473-481. [DOI: 10.1179/136485905X51283]