Socioeconomic factors associated with malaria in Colombia

Soc Sci Med. 1984;19(10):1099-104. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(84)90313-7.


In spite of progress made to control tropical diseases many developing countries in the world still show high rates of incidence. A program for malaria eradication has been in operation in Colombia since 1953, and the malaria incidence rate was falling until 1971. However, in recent years the rate has begun to rise again in affected areas of the country. The resurgence of the disease leads one to think that traditional methods of controlling it are approaching the saturation point, and a reassessment of the determinants of the problem is needed in order to identify social and economic factors that might be playing an important role by themselves or in association with epidemiological or health determinants of the disease. The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology which is being applied to the analysis of social, economic and health determinants of malaria incidence in Colombia. The model is theoretically based on a home economics framework. However, an expansion of the original version is made to take into account social and organizational factors which are thought to be important in the Colombian case. Economic variables included in the testing of the model are income, wealth and occupation. Social variables include education and housing conditions. Health factors considered are nutrition and health services. The model is tested using data collected in July 1982 in one of the most malaria affected areas of Colombia, and preliminary results are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colombia
  • Educational Status
  • Health Services / supply & distribution
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Malaria / economics
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sanitation
  • Socioeconomic Factors