Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme
(TB) is an infectious disease caused by a Bacterium, Mycobacterium
tuberculosis. It is spread through the air by a person suffering from
TB. A single patient can infect 10 or more people in a year.
India has a long and
distinguished tradition of research in TB. Studies from the
Tuberculosis Research Centre in Chennai and the National Tuberculosis
Institute in Bangalore provided key knowledge to improve treatment of
TB patients all around the world.
treatment can cure virtually all patients. It is, however, very
important that treatment be taken for the prescribed duration, which
in every case is a minimum of 6 months. Because treatment is of such
a long duration and patients feel better after just 1-2 months, and
because many TB patients face other problems such as poverty and
unemployment, treatment is often interrupted.
providing anti-TB medication is not sufficient to ensure that
patients are cured. The DOTS strategy ensures that infectious TB
patients are diagnosed and treated effectively till cure, by ensuring
availability of the full course of drugs and a system for monitoring
patient compliance to the treatment.
Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS)
DOTS strategy along with the other components of the Stop TB
strategy, implemented under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control
Programme (RNTCP) in India, is a comprehensive package for TB
The DOTS strategy is
cost-effective and is today the international standard for TB control
programmes. To date, more than 180 countries are implementing the
DOTS strategy. India has adapted and tested the DOTS strategy in
various parts of the country since 1993, with excellent results, and
by March 2006 nationwide DOTS coverage has been achieved.