Government of India and World Bank sign $100 million agreement for accelerating universal access to early and effective tuberculosis care in India

The project will contribute to the care of about 3.1 million TB patients, increase treatment for MDR-TB to 40,000 patients annually, and reach 90,000 pediatric TB cases annually

NEW DELHI, May 30, 2014 - The government of India and the World Bank today signed a $100 million credit agreement to support India’s efforts at achieving universal access to quality diagnosis and treatment for people suffering from tuberculosis (TB). The project was approved by the World Bank Board on April 8, 2014.

The credit agreement for the Accelerating Universal Access to Early and Effective Tuberculosis Care Project was signed by Nilaya Mitash, joint secretary, department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, on behalf of the government of India and Michael Haney, World Bank’s operations advisor in India, on behalf of World Bank.

The project is the third in a series of projects supporting the Government of India’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). It will support India’s National Strategic Plan for TB Control by reaching more TB patients with earlier and more effective care in the public and private sectors; scaling-up and improving diagnosis and treatment for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB; and helping integrate public sector TB services with the government’s primary health care system.

“Tuberculosis remains an enormous challenge even though there has been progress over the past 15 years in controlling the disease. The project will continue our successful partnership with the World Bank in support of the national TB program,” said Nilaya Mitash, joint secretary, department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, government of India. “The credit will support India's National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Control, in particular its new strategies to expand the number of TB patients who receive timely and quality care in both the public and private sectors,” added Anshu Prakash, joint secretary, department of health and family welfare, government of India.

Since 1997, in addition to domestic budgetary resources, RNTCP has received support from the World Bank and other partners. It has made available across India effective TB diagnosis and treatment services, including for poor and high-risk groups (such as tribal groups, HIV patients and children), and has started expanding MDR-TB services. By 2006 India had achieved the international targets for case detection and treatment success rates of 70% and 85% respectively. To date, the program has evaluated over 55 million people and initiated treatment for 16 million TB patients, saving millions of lives. However, TB is still the sixth most important cause of death and disability in India, causing an estimated 2.2 million new cases and 270,000 deaths annually. At the same time, it is estimated that 64,000 new MDR-TB cases emerge annually. 

“Tuberculosis remains one of the top four causes of death among the most productive age groups with huge economic costs, particularly for poor households. This is even more the case for MDR TB patients, whose care costs more than Rs 1 lakh per year, per case, far beyond the reach of most families,” said Michael Haney, World Bank’s operations advisor in India. “This project marks an important phase in the Government of India’s efforts to combat TB, as it aims to ensure that every TB patient has access to early and effective TB diagnosis and treatment,” he added.

The project will contribute to results which include supporting TB care for a cumulative total of 3.1 million TB patients, increasing treatment for MDR-TB to 40,000 patients annually, and reaching 90,000 pediatric TB cases annually. The project will contribute to strategies to expand public sector TB services, such as scaling-up capacity for drug resistance testing to all 35 states and union territories in the country, as well as engage with private health care providers in order to reach cases diagnosed and treated in the private sector.

“This project will contribute to scaling up free-of-charge MDR TB services, helping many more families avoid death and impoverishment. At the same time, our engagement with the program on new and innovative strategies to extend support to the many TB patients who seek care in the private sector will contribute to the government’s efforts to improve the timeliness and quality of TB care overall. This is important to both reduce transmission of the disease in the community and prevent development of drug resistance,” said Patrick Mullen, senior health specialist and World Bank’s task team leader for the project.

The project will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm – which provides interest-free loans with 25 years to maturity and a grace period of five years.

Source: World Bank

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By World Bank

Published: June 1, 2014, 9:46 p.m.

Last updated: June 1, 2014, 9:50 p.m.

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