Journal Article

Global Fund Financing of Tuberculosis Services Delivery in Prisons

Donna Lee, S. S. Lal, Ryuichi Komatsu, Alimuddin Zumla and Rifat Atun

in The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 205, issue suppl_2, pages S274-S283
Published in print May 2012 | ISSN: 0022-1899
Published online May 2012 | e-ISSN: 1537-6613 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jis042

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Introduction. Despite concerted efforts to scale up tuberculosis control with large amounts of international financing in the last 2 decades, tuberculosis continues to be a social issue affecting the world’s most marginalized and disadvantaged communities. This includes prisoners, estimated at about 10 million globally, for whom tuberculosis is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has emerged as the single largest international donor for tuberculosis control, including funding support in delivering tuberculosis treatment for the confined population.

Methods. The Global Fund grants database, with an aggregate approved investment of $21.7 billion in 150 countries by the end of 2010, was reviewed to identify tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus/tuberculosis grants and activities that monitored the delivery of tuberculosis treatment and support activities in penitentiary settings. The distribution and trend of number of countries with tuberculosis prison support was mapped by year, geographic region, tuberculosis or multidrug-resistant tuberculosis burden, and prison population rate. We examined the types of grant recipients managing program delivery, their performance, and the nature and range of services provided.

Results. Fifty-three of the 105 countries (50%) with Global Fund–supported tuberculosis programs delivered services within prison settings. Thirty-two percent (73 of 228) of tuberculosis grants, representing $558 million of all disbursements of Global Fund tuberculosis support by the end of 2010, included output indicators related to tuberculosis services delivered in prisons. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of these grants were implemented by governments, with the remaining by civil society and other partners. In terms of services, half (36 of 73) of grants provided diagnosis and treatment and an additional 27% provided screening and monitoring of tuberculosis for prisoners. The range of services tracked was limited in scope and scale, with 69% offering only 1 type of service and less than one-fifth offering 2 types of service.

Conclusions. This study is a preliminary attempt to examine Global Fund investments in the fight against tuberculosis in prison settings. Tuberculosis services delivered in prisons have increased in the last decade, but systematic information on funding levels and gaps, services provided, and cost-effective delivery models for delivering tuberculosis services in prisons are lacking.

Journal Article.  5669 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology