New Delhi:According to a new study on tuberculosis, the worst affected nations are China, India and Indonesia. “This important new study shows us why TB control is a smart investment in lasting development for low-and middle-income countries,” said Joy Phumaphi, the World Bank’s vice-president for human development.
“This economic justification for TB control strengthens the case for governments and donors to sharply reduce TB prevalence and deaths in the name of better health and higher incomes for people living at grave risk of TB illness and death,” Phumaphi said.
The economic impact of TB deaths and the benefits of TB control among the 22 high-burden countries are greatest in China and India, where the combination of growing incomes and a relatively high number of TB deaths translates into a significant economic effect, the study showed.
Laxminarayan pointed out that the 11 Asian nations accounted for one million of the 1.7 million deaths from TB in the 22 countries covered by the study, saying that extending DOTS coverage could slash mortality considerably.
“Implementing the global plan has the potential of averting about 100,000 adult deaths per year,” he said. “The burden of TB in Asia while not as large as in Africa is a serious threat to public health,” said Laxminarayan, who works with Resources for the Future, a Washington-based nonprofit research group.
WHO and World Bank experts were also involved in the study, commissioned by the Washington-based bank on behalf of the Stop TB Partnership and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity of software tycoon Bill Gates and his wife.