Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Aid and the control of Tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea: is Australia’s assistance cost-effective?

By HOA-THI-MINH NGUYEN, TOM KOMPAS and ROSLYN I. HICKSON

Australia supports the control of tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea for reasons of aid effectiveness and a desire to decrease the chance of importing tuberculosis to Australia. This paper analyses the case for this support using both cost-utility and cost-benefit analysis. We reach three conclusions. First, Australia directly benefits from its investment in controlling tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea, with a cost of $US 13 million (in 2012 prices) over 10 years earning a net present value of $US 22 million. Second, the longer and more extensive the basic directly observed short course therapy, or basic DOTS, to control tuberculosis, the higher are the returns for Australia. Finally, in addition to surpassing all commonly used benchmarks for being a cost-effective investment for Australia, a basic DOTS expansion also generates a health benefit for Papua New Guinea that compares well as one of the ‘ten best health buys’ in developing countries.

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