Private Sector Engagement In India Could Play Key Role In Ending TB Globally

Indian Express: More potent healers
Jishnu Das, senior visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and lead economist at the World Bank, and Madhukar Pai, director of the McGill International TB Centre

“…With a quarter of TB cases and deaths, India’s efforts are critical for the global push to ending the epidemic by 2030. But there is a problem. Well-executed programs that screen and effectively treat potential patients can stop TB in its tracks…, but most such programs rely on a top-down public health care system. With a largely unregulated private sector that treats two-thirds of its patients, what should India do differently? An innovative pilot that works closely with private providers may hold the key. … Now, the government, supported by the Global Fund, is expanding [a] model of private sector engagement to several cities through its Joint Effort for Elimination of Tuberculosis. … Based on our experience, we propose a strategy called IFMeT that may be key to successful private-public partnerships to fight TB with four components: [i]dentification, focusing, messaging, and testing. … Thus, IFMeT could take a large and seemingly intractable problem and reduce it to a series of actionable, manageable steps that can help end an epidemic that kills millions of Indians” (10/30).