The World Bank has agreed to provide a US$104m loan to help China treat people suffering from infectious TB and to support the country’s National TB Control Programme. The UK Department for International Development is also giving China a US$41m grant to enable the money to be lent on to the provinces at a concessional rate.
In 1991 the World Bank financed a programme to control infectious and endemic diseases. This covered 13 of the mainland’s 31 provinces and has been cited by the World Health Organisation as one of the most successful TB control programmes in the world. This financing comes to an end in 2002 but the new loan and grant will enable the programme to be continued and extended to the rest of the country.
Official statistics show that TB is the leading infectious cause of death in China, with 1.3m new cases and 150,000 deaths reported each year. The programme aims to achieve an 85 per cent cure rate in all detected cases.