New Study says aggressive tuberculosis control could yield substantial economic gains for poor countries
A new World Bank research report, completed on behalf of the Stop TB Partnership, finds that 22 countries with the world's highest numbers of TB cases could earn significantly more than they spend on TB diagnosis and treatment if they signed onto the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB.
Highly affected African countries could gain up to 9 times their investments in TB control; and those outside Africa a 15-fold return. The study also warns about the need to step up TB control worldwide with the growing emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) in Southern Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
"We already had sufficient reasons to step up the fight against TB. But this study provides a new incentive. It demonstrates that fighting TB is not only about preventing illness and death --it is also a smart investment. We urge our partners and all countries affected by TB to take notice and accelerate their efforts to accelerate TB diagnosis and treatment in line with the Global Plan," said Dr Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership.