What is DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course)

Tuberculosis is completely curable through short-course chemotherapy. Treating TB cases who are sputum-smear positive (and who can therefore spread the disease to others) at the source, it is the most effective means of eliminating TB from a population.

DOTS or Directly Observed Treatment Short course is the internationally recommended strategy for TB control that has been recognized as a highly efficient and cost-effective strategy. DOTS comprises five components.

1. Sustained political and financial committment. TB can be cured and the epidemic reversed if adequate resources and administrative support for TB control are provided

2.Diagnosis by quality ensured sputum-smear microscopy. Chest symptomatics examined this way helps to reliably find infectious patients

3.Standardized short-course anti-TB treatment (SCC) given under direct and supportive observation (DOT).Helps to ensure the right drugs are taken at the right time for the full duration of treatment.

4. A regular, uninterrupted supply of high quality anti-TB drugs. Ensures that a credible national TB programme does not have to turn anyone away.

5. Standardized recording and reporting. Helps to keep track of each individual patient and to monitor overall programme performance