Health Systems, Technology and Combating Stigma in The Fight Against Tuberculosis

In Cambodia, with the support of the National Institutes of Health, CESR researchers are partnering with Operation ASHA, a leading global NGO in the area of tuberculosis control, to develop and test new mobile health technologies combined with mobile payments to help patients complete their medication. Operation ASHA President Shelly Batra recently put down the following thoughts in a post for the Health Policy and Planning Debated blog, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

TB – A Disease That Continues to Plague the Poorest

When I was a student in King George’s Medical College, India, a group of doctors came from the UK to visit our hospital. They said to my Professor,

“May we see a tuberculosis (TB) patient.”

They wanted to see just one patient as a learning experience, because at that time, TB had largely been eradicated from high income countries. I recall my Professor’s reply:

“We have wards and wards full.”

This was in the 70s. Today, there are 10.9 million new TB cases in the world every year. A disease which is as old as the hills has become a global pandemic, leading to huge suffering, economic loss and deaths. In fact, TB has been responsible for the death of more people than any other infectious disease in history. In 2006, I established Operation ASHA with a focus on TB, the biggest health crisis in the world and, which the World Health Organization declared a ‘global emergency’ in 1993.

Please click on the link to read the blog post: http://bit.ly/2ps8pyP.