Social and Economic Aspects of Vector-borne Disease

Katherine Dickinson

Vector-borne diseases impose wide-ranging costs on human societies. Human behaviors and decision-making at various scales influence the transmission and impacts of these diseases. As part of Katie’s dissertation research, she examined determinants of malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment behaviors in Tanzania. Specifically, she examined how these behaviors varied with socioeconomic status, and also looked at knowledge and behaviors around environmental management for malaria control. A related project has worked with malaria control policymakers in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda, building decision support tools to assess different control strategies. Katie has also used economic stated preference methods to measure willingness to pay for mosquito control. A study in Madison, WI, used choice experiments total willingness to pay as well as measuring whether demand for control was motivated by a desire for disease risk reduction or a reduction in nuisance biting (or both). A contingent valuation approach was used to measure willingness to pay for mosquito control in two cities with varying recent exposure to vector-borne disease, Key West, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona.