A new study in the journal PLoS of Medicine by Cambridge researcher David Stuckler reports that the rise in rates of tuberculosis in Eastern Europe is strongly associated with a country’s receipt of loans from the IMF.
The authors speculate that this a result of country’s reducing their expenditures on health care to qualify for the loans.
“The researchers studied health records in 21 countries and found that obtaining an I.M.F. loan was associated with a 13.9 percent increase in new cases of tuberculosis each year, a 13.3 percent increase in the number of people living with the disease and a 16.6 percent increase in the number of tuberculosis deaths.
The study, being published online Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine, statistically controlled for numerous other factors that affect tuberculosis rates, including the prevalence of AIDS, inflation rates, urbanization, unemployment rates, the age of the population and improved surveillance.”
The report notes that every .9% increase in mortality from TB was correlated with a 1% increase in credit from the Fund .