One finds it surprising that countries such as Russia with a GDP per capita of US$ 13,011 and Brazil with a GDP per capita of US$ 11,734 are among the 22 tuberculosis (TB) disease burdened countries (TB countries), together with ‘poorer’ countries such as DR Congo with a GDP per capita of only US$ 442.

Be that as it may, however, in 2014, Russia’s TB budget was nearly 1.9 billion and it was fully funded by Russia. This means that for its 160 thousand TB cases in 2014, Russia’s TB budget made funding provision of US$ 11,838 per case, more than 37 times Uganda’s provision per TB case.

Brazil’s TB budget in 2014 was US$ 77 million, of which it funded 72 percent and only one percent was externally funded; meaning that 27 percent of Brazil’s 2014 TB budget was not funded. For its 110 thousand TB cases, in 2014, Brazil’s funded TB budget provisioned US$ 511 per person – 23 times less than what Russia provisioned per TB case.

The 11 Asian TB countries, in comparison, in 2014 had a combined TB budget of over US$ 1.1 billion; of which 25 percent was funded from the countries’ own funds, 41 percent was funded from external funding sources, and 34 percent was not funded.

The Asian TB countries’ funded budget provision to their 7.8 million cases in 2014, therefore, was an average of US$ 110 per TB case – nearly 108 times less than what Russia provisioned per TB case and five times less than what Brazil provisioned per TB case.

It should be noted, however, that among the 11 Asian TB countries, India’s TB budget, US$ 261 million, was fully funded, 46 percent by India and 54 percent externally, making a provision of US$ 104 per TB case for India.

Whereas, China’s TB budget, US$ 340 million, was not fully funded, it was funded 90 percent by China and only two percent came from external sources; meaning that only eight percent was not funded. In 2014, therefore, China made a funded budget provision of U$ 261 per TB case; the highest provision per case among the 11 Asian TB countries.

This analysis is primarily based on the country profiles that are published in the 2015 Global Tuberculosis Report and on country statistics that are published online by the World Bank.  

By Norah Owaraga, CPAR Uganda Managing Director, Cultural Anthropologist researching Tuberculosis in Uganda.

Post featured image credit: M3 India

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