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Can at Scale Drug Provision Improve the Health of the Targeted in Sub-Saharan Africa?

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  • Adrienne M. Lucas
  • Nicholas L. Wilson

Abstract

The single largest item in the United States foreign aid health budget is antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Many supply- and demand-side factors in sub-Saharan Africa could cause smaller than expected epidemiological effects of this at scale drug provision. We provide what appears to be the first quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of at scale drug provision in a poor country, using the phased roll-out of ART in Zambia, a setting where approximately 1 in 6 adults are HIV positive. Combining anthropometric data from national household surveys and a spatially-based triple difference specification, we find that local ART introduction increased the weight of high HIV likelihood adult women. This finding from a clinically difficult setting suggest that the generalized challenges of scalability of ART for adult health in sub-Saharan Africa are surmountable.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrienne M. Lucas & Nicholas L. Wilson, 2017. "Can at Scale Drug Provision Improve the Health of the Targeted in Sub-Saharan Africa?," NBER Working Papers 23403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23403
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    Cited by:

    1. Lucas, Adrienne M. & Chidothe, Margaret & Wilson, Nicholas L., 2019. "Effects of adult health interventions at scale on children’s schooling: Evidence from antiretroviral therapy in Zambia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 107-120.
    2. Herrera-Almanza, Catalina & Rosales-Rueda, Maria F., 2020. "Reducing the Cost of Remoteness: Community-Based Health Interventions and Fertility Choices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    3. Wilson, Nicholas, 2018. "Altruism in preventive health behavior: At-scale evidence from the HIV/AIDS pandemic," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 119-129.
    4. Anne E. Fitzpatrick & Sabrin A. Beg & Laura C. Derksen & Anne Karing & Jason T. Kerwin & Adrienne Lucas & Natalia Ordaz Reynoso & Munir Squires, 2021. "Health Knowledge and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa," NBER Working Papers 28316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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