Principal investigator: Elisa Sicuri
Start date: 01/04/2022
End date: 31/03/2023
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Keywords: malaria, COVID-19, school outcomes, impact evaluation
Description of the project scope, objectives and deliverables
Recent malaria elimination projects in Southern Mozambique successfully reduced malaria and produced positive impacts on short-term primary school outcomes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Mozambique, schools remain closed for the whole year 2020. Over the same year, malaria control and elimination activities were disrupted, provoking severe rebounds in malaria incidence. This study aims to test the hypothesis that malaria elimination activities conducted prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed towards the end of 2020 may have had a protective effect on short-term educational outcomes when primary schools re-opened in 2021. In order to reply to the research question, information on absenteeism and grades from more than 10,000 school children has been collected for over 5 years, including 2 post-pandemic years, from schools in malaria elimination project areas and in nearby areas where no malaria elimination projects have ever been carried out.
Notably, the findings of the project will be disseminated among local policymakers, both from the health and education ministries, during a workshop organised in Mozambique. The key partner in this project is the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM) and Dr Francisco Saúte is country PI.
The project is supported by LSE Research and Impact Support Fund and by CISM through malaria elimination projects funds.