The introduction of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) has improved the diagnosis and treatment of malaria. However, any successful control of malaria will depend on socio-economic factors that influence its management in the community. Willingness to pay (WTP) is important because consumer responses to prices will influence utilization of services and revenues collected. Also the consumer's attitude can influence monetary valuation with respect to different conditions ex post and ex ante.
WTP for RDT for Malaria was assessed by the contingent valuation method using a bidding game approach in rural and urban communities in southeast Nigeria. The ex post WTP was assessed at the health centers on 638 patients immediately following diagnosis of malaria with RDT and the ex ante WTP was assessed by household interviews on 1131 householders with a prior history of malaria.
For the ex ante the WTP is 51% in urban and 24.7% in rural areas. The mean WTP amount (235.49 naira) in urban is higher than mean WTP (182.05 Naira) in rural areas. For the ex post the WTP is 89 and 90.7% in urban and rural areas respectively. The mean WTP amount (372.30 naira) in urban is also higher than (296.28 naira) in rural areas. In the ex ante scenario, the WTP in the higher two Social Economic Status (SES) quartiles was higher than the lower two SES quartile and the mean WTP amount for Q1 and Q2 are lower than in Q3 and Q4. For the ex post scenario, the WTP in the lower two (SES) quartiles were more and the mean WTP amount is higher than the higher two SES. Ex ante and ex post WTP were directly dependent on costs.
The ex post mean WTP amount is higher than the ex ante mean WTP and both are greater than the current cost of RDTs. Also, WTP is more in Urban dwellers than the rural dwellers. The mean WTP amount should be considered when designing suitable financial strategies for making RDTs available to communities.