November 24, 2010
Expanding Tuberculosis Control In China: Combining Domestic And Foreign Investment
China had an estimated 1.3 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) in 2008, of which 112,000 were multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB). Over the period 2001, TB was the second largest cause of death among China's 39 notifiable communicable diseases. In a Policy Forum, published in this week's PLoS Medicine, Zhong-wei Jia (Peking University) and colleagues from Beijing, China, report on how a combination of increased domestic funding, supplemented by foreign loans and donations, led to a dramatic increase in TB case finding. The authors also highlight the way in which changes in TB control policy (carried out in the wider context of health system reforms) generate challenges for TB monitoring and evaluation. The authors conclude "As China becomes more reliant on domestic rather than foreign investment; there is a premium on evaluating the links between financing for health in general and for TB control in particular. Studies of this kind are rare, and yet they are vital in setting future policy for the control of diseases like tuberculosis."