Publications

    May M, Rhatigan J. BRAC’s Tuberculosis Program: Pioneering DOTS Treatment for TB in Rural Bangladesh. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case examines the development of a tuberculosis (TB) treatment program in Bangladesh by the non-governmental organization, BRAC, from 1984 to 2006. After providing background about Bangladesh, the burden of TB there, and BRAC, the case examines how this program was piloted and grew to cover a population of 80 million people. It details how BRAC was able to create a TB control program that utilized community health workers to perform most of its essential functions including case finding, directly-observed therapy, identification of complications, and record keeping. The case concludes with a brief summary of BRAC’s expansion to Afghanistan and recently, Africa, and asks the reader to consider the feasibility of this TB care model in other contexts and in other conditions, such as HIV/AIDS.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Timeline of BRAC TB Program Expansions
    Timeline of BRAC TB Program Expansions. Source: From One to Many: Scaling Up Health Programs in Low-Income Countries. Edited by Richard A Cash, A Mushtaque R. Chowdhury, George B. Smith, and Faruque Ahmed (2010). Ch 13. Islam A and May MA. Decentralized Management in the Expansion of BRAC's Rural Tuberculosis Program (DOTS). Pgs. 207-214. (Exhibit 3 in "BRAC’s Tuberculosis Program: Pioneering DOTS Treatment for TB in Rural Bangladesh" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand effective strategies for effectively engaging community health workers to deliver complex medical and public health interventions to large populations in low resource settings.

    Supporting Content: The sequel to this case is titled Tuberculosis in Dhaka: BRAC’s Urban TB Program.

    Keywords: Community health workers, tuberculosis control, rural nongovernmental organizations, social enterprise

    Talbot JR, Rhatigan J, Kim JY. The Peruvian National Tuberculosis Control Program. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case examines effective public health management strategies by examining the turnaround of National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program (NTP) in Peru during the 1990s under Director Dr. Pedro Suarez. The case presents background information on the NTP before 1990 and situates its underperformance within the political and economic context of Peru at this time. It describes how Suarez transformed the NTP from an essentially bankrupt program in August 1990 to a model program, using effective management techniques. It concludes with the program struggling to improve outcomes among a group of patients failing its standardized protocols.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Health Center in Peru
    Health center in Peru; Credit: Julie Rosenberg Talbot

    Learning Objectives: To understand the operations of a national tuberculosis control program and to learn how effective management techniques can be employed in public health programs to improve performance with an emphasis on basic principles of quality improvement.

    Keywords: Program management, leadership, vertical programming, public health, tuberculosis control

    Talbot JR, Rhatigan J. Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment in Peru. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case traces the development of a multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment program in Peru between 1994 and 1999 by Socios en Salud (SES), a community-based nonprofit organization, in a shantytown of Northern Lima called Carabayllo. After providing some background on existing TB treatment services and the organizational history of SES, it follows the organization up to 1999 and frames its work within the context of international MDR-TB policy. The case presents background information on the epidemiology of TB and MDR-TB in Peru as well as the shantytown of Carabayllo. It describes how SES implemented community-based treatment for cadre of patients with MDR-TB and achieved cure rates comparable with those obtained in the US. The case begins with a vignette that illuminates the problem of MDR-TB from a patient’s perspective and ends with the program needing to strategize about how to scale-up and expand its reach to more patients.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Outdoor sputum collection booth to prevent TB transmission in (MOH) national hospital in northern shantytown of Peru
    Outdoor sputum collection booth to prevent TB transmission in (MOH) national hospital in northern shantytown of Peru; Credit: Julie Rosenberg Talbot

    Learning Objectives: To understand strategies that innovative programs use to improve access to health care and to explore ways that community health workers can deliver complex medical interventions within well-designed public health programs.

    Keywords: Community health workers, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment, policy change, advocacy