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

38 Pages Posted: 18 May 2017 Last revised: 13 Jun 2021

See all articles by Adrienne Lucas

Adrienne Lucas

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics

Nicholas L. Wilson

Williams College - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2017

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

Lucas, Adrienne and Wilson, Nicholas L., Can at Scale Drug Provision Improve the Health of the Targeted in Sub-Saharan Africa? (May 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23403, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2968241

Adrienne Lucas (Contact Author)

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics ( email )

419 Purnell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Nicholas L. Wilson

Williams College - Department of Economics ( email )

Fernald House
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States

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