POST TIME: 19 May, 2016 00:00 00 AM
TB-prevention ranked ‘top investment’ priority in Bangladesh

TB-prevention ranked ‘top investment’ priority in Bangladesh

Copenhagen Consensus Centre, a US non-profit think tank has identified tuberculosis (TB) treatment, infant nutrition, and e-government solutions as top three priority areas for investment in Bangladesh, which would result in the biggest returns to the society, reports UNB. In a report published on May 12, the centre also pinpointed 72 new areas for investment in Bangladesh, which would produce ‘phenomenal benefits.’The report titled ‘Bangladesh Priorities: Smarter Solutions for Bangladesh,’ showed investment in TB treatment and infant nutrition will halt one in 11 deaths, while investment in e-procurement will save Tk 5,274 crore annually as the country spends over Tk 72,000 crore on public procurement every year.
Director of the Centre Dr Bjorn Lomborg said, “Over five years, spending just 1 percent of the Bangladeshi budget on smarter policies could make Bangladesh Tk 3.7 trillion better off. And development agencies could achieve US$4 billion more, if just 1 percent of their spending was better allocated.” In collaboration with BRAC, the organisation announced a prioritized list of investment in Bangladesh. For more than a decade, the Copenhagen Consensus approach has been applied at a global level - most recently to provide an economic input to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The report is the result of numerous public engagements, roundtables held with several stakeholders, after which 76 policy options were selected for analysis.
The panel that analysed the data to announce the list was led by Nobel laureate Prof Finn Kydland, former president and founder of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Selima Ahmad, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies Director General Dr KAS Murshid, and Vice Chair of BRAC Dr Mushtaque Chowdhury.
The report said TB kills 80,000 Bangladeshis each year. Halting this death toll would stop nearly one in every eleven Bangladeshi deaths.
Dr Anna Vassall, senior lecturer in health economics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, outlined a TB treatment strategy using community health clinics.
About e-governance, the report said Bangladesh spends more than Tk 72,000 crore on public procurement annually. Making this process more efficient would avoid delays and cost overruns and increase efficiency.