Malaria causes significant economic losses, and can decrease gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as 1.3% in countries with high levels of transmission. Over the long term, these aggregated annual losses have resulted 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 heavy-burden countries, the disease accounts for:
- up to 40% of public health expenditures;
- 30% to 50% of inpatient hospital admissions;
- up to 60% of outpatient health clinic visits.
Malaria disproportionately affects poor people who cannot afford treatment or have limited access to health care, trapping families and communities in a downward spiral of poverty.