Objective: To assess the impact of investment in national tuberculosis programs (NTPs) on NTP performance and tuberculosis burden in 22 high-burden countries, as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Data source/study setting: Estimates of annual tuberculosis burden and NTP performance indicators and control variables during 2002-2009 were obtained from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the WHO, the World Bank, and the Penn World Table for the 22 high-burden countries.
Study design: Panel data analysis was performed using the outcome variables tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality and the key explanatory variables Partnership case detection rate and treatment success rate, controlling for gross domestic product per capita, population structure, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence.
Results: A $1 per capita (general population) higher NTP budget (including domestic and external sources) was associated with a 1.9% (95% confidence interval, .12%-3.6%) higher estimated case detection rate the following year for the 22 high-burden countries between 2002 and 2009. In the final models, which corrected for autocorrelation and heteroskedasticity, achieving the STOP TB Partnership case detection rate target of >70% was associated with significantly (P < .01) lower tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality the following year, even when controlling for general economic development and HIV prevalence as potential confounding variables.
Conclusions: Increased investment in NTPs was significantly associated with improved performance and with a downward trend in the tuberculosis burden in the 22 high-burden countries during 2002-2009.