Controlling Tuberculosis: An Economic Perspective

M. Muniyandi


The paper assesses the overall economic impact due to tuberculosis (TB) and the adequacy of current TB control strategy from a poverty reduction viewpoint in India. Data from large scale surveys carried out in Tamil Nadu were used to measure the burden of disease in terms of TB prevalence, economic costs to TB patient on diagnosis/treatment and its contribution to poverty alleviation. For a TB patient on an average 3-4 months of work time is lost, resulting in loss of potential earnings up to 20-30 per cent of annual household income. It is observed that economic status of two-thirds of the TB patients registered under TB control programme is low, none of the patients incurred any medical cost, more than 50 per cent did not incur travel costs and 88 per cent returned to work after completing treatment. These findings indicate that the TB control strategies engaged meaningfully help the families to escape the poverty trap.

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