The Impacts of Water Borne Diseases on Rural Development in Sudan: Study of Malaria in Gezira Irrigated Agricultural Scheme
Issam A.W. Mohamed
Al-Neelain University - Department of Economics
February 11, 2012
Gezira irrigated scheme is globally one of the biggest agricultural productive units administratively managed. It has seen deteriorating productivity for the past two decades. There cries that it should be privatized. That was seriously taken by the government in an economic liquidation of its assets. However, in this study we discuss analyze other aspects than the previously mentioned aspects of production parameters. We focus of health economics and how gradual negligence led to the prevalence of waterborne diseases. That degenerated farmers' abilities to produce. The present study was carried out in the Gezira scheme to measure the impact of water borne diseases, e.g., Malaria and Bilharzias on rural development in Gezira scheme. The study was established on the assumption that water borne diseases have a drastic effect on the farmer income due to his absence from work because of the above mentioned two diseases. A simple random multistage stratified sample was taken from farmers in the villages of the scheme (180) farmers to represent the research community. The study is based on the field information that was gathered by the questionnaire. The other secondary information was collected from scientific research works, Ministry of health documents and the relevant institutions in order to identify the impact of these diseases on rural farmer in Gezira scheme. Used variables were of farmers socioeconomic parameters, e.g., age, level of education, annual income, the extent of his awareness of these diseases and the number of infections he has had and the type of treatment he uses. Other variables were health environment and centers, drinking water and the role of the responsible authorities control and treatment of the diseases.
Statistical packages for social sciences were used to display and interpret the data. Chi-square was used to identify significant or non-significant relations. The study established that there are diseases that spread in the Gezira region, sometimes culminating to an epidemic level and that farmers do not get enough health care. That affects their health conditions and destroys their ability for productive lives. Additionally, income from agricultural production is less than medical treatment expenses for most them. Despite of the economic impacts, the role of the state in the control of these diseases in the region is weak.
Chi-square analysis confirmed that there are significant relations between Malaria infection and income level and that have effects on agricultural activities of the farmer. Moreover, that there are relations between Malaria infection and the disease communicators. As for disease control, there is positive relation with available places of treatment and the role of state in control and treatment and the level of income from farming work and the cost of treatment of the diseases. However, there is also non-significant relation between Malaria infection and mortality rate due to infections. The same applies for Malaria infections and health care. Meanwhile, Malaria infection was correlated with the cost of health services. The study has proposed number of recommendations. The most important of them are the establishment of cooperative health organization for the farmers in each division of the scheme region to work for the control and treatment of these diseases. Also more attention should be given to the social, economic, cultural and manpower development of farmer of the Gezira scheme, being the real asset of rural development.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Gezira, Irrigation, Waterborn Diseases, Malaria, Infections, Endemic Prevalence, Productive Abilities, Farmer Income
JEL Classification: Q1, Q15, Q19, Q20, Q25, H5, H50, H51, K32working papers series
Date posted: February 16, 2012 ; Last revised: March 15, 2012
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