Report on Sub-Saharan African TB Progress ‘One Dimensional’ – World Bank

The World Bank has issued a response to a report that criticizes the impact of the bank’s sector-wide approaches on tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa.

The report is a one-dimensional and “very linear” look on the tuberculosis drive in sub-Saharan Africa that misses out on the broader impact of World Bank’s health assistance to Africa as a whole, the Washington-based lender said in a statement.

The report, which was published by the Advocacy to Control TB Internationally with backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, urged the World Bank to rethink its sector-wide approach to tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa. Current approaches employed by the bank are failing to make an impact, the report stated.

The World Bank focuses on achieving tangible results and is committed to the careful monitoring of results, the statement read in response to the report’s claim that SWAps lacked monitoring.

The bank also argued that only 10 percent of its health operations in Africa involve SWAps. The statement recognized that the report put forth useful observations, but added that “it is incorrect in attribution most SWAps weaknesses to the Bank.” It explained that the World Bank is not the only organization employing SWAps in Africa.

The statement further noted that the World Bank was asked in 2007, after consulations with U.N. health agencies and other development partners, to help African countries strengthen their overall health systems.

Fewer TB infections is one of these many health outcomes that is a high priority for the Bank and its clients, the statement read. The Bank works with countries to build stronger underlying health systems that will help governments and disease-specific agencies to deliver more sustainable results over the long term.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.