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Biting Back at Malaria: Assessing Health‐service Providers' Compliance with Treatment Guidelines


Review of Development Economics

Published online on


Non‐compliance with established medical treatment guidelines can have dire consequences for public health and economic well‐being. Based on the Demographic and Health Surveys, we examine malaria‐treatment practices of various health‐care providers in sub‐Saharan Africa, where more than 90% of malaria‐induced deaths occur. We estimate each provider's likelihood (i) to comply with guidelines to administer (effective) antimalarial drugs and (ii) to relieve children of fever—a symptom of malaria—after having had a fever episode within the previous two weeks. Our results indicate that, relative to self‐medication, seeking treatment at most providers is positively associated with taking an antimalarial drug and negatively associated with using only ineffective chloroquine. Non‐traditional healers are also associated with fever relief.