- India has 2.2 million new TB cases each year
- Over one-third, TB cases remain undiagnosed
- Directly Observed Treatment methods remain inefficient in rural areas
- Less than half of the DOTS centers follow proper instructions
- Many DOTS centers lack basic facilities
DOTS – Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course – is one of the Tuberculosis control program adopted by the Government of India in 1997.
A recent study conducted by a team of scholars from Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduation in Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, and JN Medical College, Uttar Pradesh, evaluates and finds out the shortcoming while implementing the director observed treatment method for tuberculosis in India.
The DOTS program aims to make the cure rate a minimum of 85 percent among the detected tuberculosis cases. It also works for 70 percent detection of the new sputum positive case or TB cases among the Indian population.
The success of treating TB has increased from 25 percent in 1998 to 86 percent in 2009. India aims to reduce the TB mortality rate to 10 from 20 percent by 2030.
Being the key link between the health centers and TB patients DOTS providers are supposed to be equipped with all information regarding TB and primary facilities.
The facilities include a maximum number of drugs, syringes, patient cards and drinking water facilities.
The research included 302 TB patients from Northern Indian states and taking treatment from 42 different DOTS centers.
As per the research, less than half of the DOT centers followed the instruction of direct observation. Out of the 42, only 20 supervise the treatments like having the drugs for TB.
Meanwhile, about 60 percent DOTS providers counsel the patient about TB, its effect and the importance of having the required medicine.
The study also found out that one-third of the DOTS providers fail to contact the patients who missed out the drug intakes.
They also found that about 65 percent of the DOTS centers did not possess any cupboard or shelf to keep the treatment drugs or materials. While about 86.8 percent reported good results with the program, a significant number of people, over 13 percent, reported the results badly.
The research establishes the need to upgrade the services of DOTS providers and centers. A number of people who got cured through DOTS centers with all the facilities and number of people who got cured after getting treatment from DOTS centers without proper facilities remain almost same. Hence, urging the need for the development of DOT centers in a way to benefit the patients.
According to tbfacts.org, non-government website, India has around 2.2 million new cases of TB each year. It has been estimated that Indian Economy lost around USD 340 billion towards TB. The TB diagnosis and treatment has been supervised by Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP), and DOT is one of their strategies. Over one-third of the TB cases leave unnoticed and undiagnosed in the country.