Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Successes: Nepal's Central Government vs. TB

The Nepalese central government asked DfID, the World Bank, and the GAVI Alliance to pool their money into a common, government-run fund for better maternal and child health. In 1996 the government began insisting that health workers make sure patients take their tuberculosis medicine every day for six months. This was expensive in a country with a lot of remote villages, but may have been well worth it:
In the early 1990s, just 45% of TB patients were cured; today, that figure has doubled to 90%. Twenty years ago, a couple of hundred health facilities oversaw TB treatment; today, more than 4,000 sites, including tiny health posts in the mountains, administer the anti-TB drugs.

That's all positive, but health leaders remain concerned about new problems. There's HIV-TB co-infection; an estimated 40,000 people each year contract TB, which isn't much less than 15 years ago....
So infection rates are still the same, but twice as many are getting treated. (HT: PNB who links to the Guardian's article)

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