Prevalence and socio-economic determinants of malaria among children under five in Cameroon

Ngako Pamen Joelle Nounouce, Njoumemi Zakariaou, Essi Marie-José, Tankeu Yollande, Djofang Carele, Bakoue Christelle


Background: Malaria is a major risk of morbidity and mortality among children under five in Cameroon with 13.7% of deaths in 2017. This paper aims to determine the prevalence and socioeconomic determinants of malaria among children under five in Cameroon.

Methods: The study used secondary population data from 5th demographic and health survey (DHS-V). A stratified, 2-stage sampling was implemented and yielded a sample of 4094 children under 5 years of age who underwent a rapid diagnostic test (RDT). The logistic regression model was used to estimate the prevalence and socio-economic determinants of malaria with multivariate descriptive and explanatory analysis. The results were presented in terms of cross tabulations and frequencies and the differences were considered statistically significant at a p<0.05.

Results: The results show that 1024 out of 4094 children were tested positive, with a prevalence rate of 25%. There is a regional and residential disparity in malaria prevalence and a child living in a rural area was twice more likely to be infected with malaria. The prevalence of malaria is a function of the socio-economic characteristics of the household, as prevalence decreases as well-being improves from 33.8% among the poor to 13.3% among the rich. Low socio-economic status is a risk factor for malaria infection in children under five in Cameroon.

Conclusions: The policy implications are concerned with the reduction of socio-economic disparities, the promotion of free health care and universal health coverage in Cameroon.


Malaria, Prevalence, Socio-economic determinants, Children under five, Cameroon

Full Text:



Saïdou H. Poverty, malaria and health system reforms in Africa: Three applied studies in Cameroon. thesis in economics, Université Paris-Dauphine. 2018;181.

Soma DD, Namountougou M, Sangaré I, Sawadogo SP, Maiga H, Yaméogo B, Sanou R et al. Entomological transmission of malaria in Nanoro, site of the RTS'S vaccine trial in Burkina Faso. Rev CAMES SANTE. 2017;5(2):15-20.

Carnevale P, Robert V. Anopheles: Biology, transmission of Plasmodium and vector control. IRD Editions. 2009;402.

Ihantamalala FA. Modelling the dynamics of malaria in Madagascar. Thesis in Geography, Université de la reunion. 2017;120.

World Health Organization. World Malaria Report 2017. Report. Geneva: United Nations. 2018.

Aubry P, Gauzere BA. Malaria. Educational document, Centre René Labusquière, Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Bordeaux. 2018;30.

Ministry of Public Health. Annual activity report. Report. Yaoundé, Cameroon: MINSANTE, National Malaria Control Programme. 2019.

Pierrat C. Des moustiques et des hommes. Geography thesis. University of Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. 2010.

Kaboré S, Ouédraogo O, Garanet F, Compaoré E, Lanou H, Zoma R et al. Prevalence and factors associated with stunting among school children in Dori, Burkina Faso. Public Health. 2019;31(1):153-63.

Ngomenzey C, Bouba DF, Ekambi E. Determinants Individuels Et Contextuels Du Paludisme Chez Les Enfants De 6-59 Mois En République Démocratique Du Congo. Eur Scientific J ESJ. 2021;17(7):94.

Kone A, Traore O, Maiga H, Sagara I, Kodio A. Quinine treatment selects the pfnhe-1 ms4760-1polymorphism in malian patients with falciparum malaria. J Infect Dis. 2013;207(3).

National Institute of Statistics. Cinquième Enquête Demographique et de Santé 2018. enquete. Yaoundé: Institut National de la Statistique. 2020.

Loizzo C, Tabarly S. Spaces and territories of malaria. Geoconfluences. 2012.

Longuepee D. Malaria, institutions and growth: what to make of the current debate. Economics Institutions. 2006;8:95-118.

Daval CR. Parasitic diseases in urban areas: interest and limits of spatial analysis. Espace populations sociétés. 2006;2(3):381-92.

Bisimwa N, Mambo BM, Kavira M, Mugangu C, Bagalwa M. Household economic vulnerability during a malaria episode in the Miti-Murhesa health zone in DR Congo. Int J Innovation Appl Studies. 2014;8(3):912-9.

Barry S. Regional disparities in malaria morbidity among children under five in Guinea. master's thesis in demography. Yaounde: University of Yaounde II Soa. 2015.

Fournet F, Kassié D, Dabiré RK, Salem G. Analysis of the socio-spatial distribution of malaria in a medium-sized West African city, Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). Dynamiques Environnementales Int J Geosci Environment. 2015;36:146-165.

Diallo D. Regional disparities in malaria morbidity among children aged 6-59 months in Mali: Research into explanatory factors. Master's thesis in Demography. Yaounde: Université Yaoundé II Soa, IFORD. 2016.

Franckel A. Les comportements de recours aux soins en milieu rural au Sénégal: le cas des enfants fébriles à Niakhar. Doctoral thesis. University of Nanterre Paris X. 2004.

Takudzwa D. Household determinants of malaria in Mutasa District of Zimbabwe. Thesis in Public Health. Walden University. 2018.

Maud C. Impacts of environmental and socio-demographic factors in the city of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Master's thesis in Geography of Health. University of Nanterre. 2006.

Wanzira H, Katamba H, Okullo AE, Agaba B, Kasule M, Rubahika D. Factors associated with malaria parasitaemia among children under 5 years in Uganda: a secondary data analysis of the 2014 Malaria Indicator Survey dataset. Malaria J. 2017;16(191):1-9.