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Fewer, effective development goals will help India much more

Bjorn Lomborg discusses the benefits that prioritizing smart post-2015 targets will have on India. 

When it comes to health, the eradication of tuberculosis should be prioritised. In India, over 2 million develop TB every year, with more than a quarter million dying. Each hour, around 30 Indians die of TB, despite effective treatment being available.

There has been remarkable progress both in India and globally — but it has been hampered by weak health systems, poverty and multi-resistant strains of TB. Despite the toll it takes, TB treatment receives just 4% of total development assistance spent on health, compared with 25% for HIV.

Treatment is inexpensive and effective. From 1997 to 2006 increased Indian TB control has prevented 1.3 million deaths, generating Rs 115 of social good per rupee spent. With a future price tag of Rs 13,500 to treat every TB case, the annual cost to reduce TB deaths by 70% is Rs 11.4 billion, but the benefits will be 37 times higher.

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