Medical charity criticises shortcomings of DOTS in management of tuberculosis

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 01 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:784
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. New Delhi

    Many people with active tuberculosis miss out on effective treatment because of outdated diagnostic tools and shortcomings in the direct observed treatment short course (DOTS) programme, the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned.

    In a report released at the meeting of the Stop TB Partners' Forum in New Delhi last week, the humanitarian medical aid organisation called on governments and the World Health Organization to intensify research to find new drugs and diagnostic tools for tuberculosis to overcome the limitations of DOTS programmes.

    Case detection for DOTS relies on sputum smear microscopy, but this test detects only 48% of people with tuberculosis, said the MSF report. It pointed out that the smear microscopy test worked in less than 38% of HIV infected people with tuberculosis. Its detection rate in children …

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