The economics of malaria in pregnancy--a review of the evidence and research priorities
Malaria in pregnancy is a major public-health problem in the developing world. However, on review of the evidence, we found its economic impact is not well documented. Adequately capturing the economic burden of malaria in pregnancy requires good epidemiological data including effects to the mother and baby, and better understanding of the long-term health and economic costs of malaria in pregnancy. We reviewed evidence on coverage, equity, cost, and cost-effectiveness of interventions to tackle malaria in pregnancy and found that although key interventions are highly cost effective, coverage is currently inadequate and fails to reach the poor. The evidence on interventions to improve treatment of malaria in pregnancy is scarce, and fails to adequately capture the benefits. There is also lack of data on cost-effectiveness of other interventions, especially outside of Africa, in low transmission settings, and for non-falciparum malaria. Research priorities on the economics of malaria in pregnancy are identified.