Malaria and Primary Education: A Cross-country Analysis on Repetition and Completion Rates

This paper explores the link between P. falciparum malaria– most malaria morbidity and mortality is due to the malignant Plasmodium falciparum -and primary education in terms of school performance on the macroeconomic level. Cross-country regression analysis shows that the relationship between school results (measured in terms of repetition and completion rates) and the P. falciparum malaria index is strong. The results imply that the achievement of the education Millennium Development Goals will require more than just focusing on expenditure in primary education. This does not mean that resources allied to education are unnecessary, but simply that increasing resources in education and improving the management of educational resources alone are unlikely to be sufficient. This paper suggests that health conditions, especially diseases that alter the cognitive capacity of children such as malaria, should be taken into account much more seriously. This study also highlights the need for research that will improve the quality of interventions to prevent malaria. Specific education expenditure combined with health policies should be investigated further as a means of tackling malaria.

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