What is DOTS?
Directly observed treatment short-course is the name for a comprehensive strategy which primary health services around the world are using to detect and cure tuberculosis. Direct observation by treatment supporters as patients swallow their TB drugs everyday five days a week. TB treatment takes at least six months to complete and often patients stop taking their medicine because they feel better. That is why DOTS is an effective strategy.
Five elements of DOTS:
Researchers should first be directed to the sputum test positive cases for treatment, as these are the people who are infectuous.
Patients must be observed swallowing each dose of medicine by the health worker.
Especially during the first two months of observation because this is when he/she is the most infectuous, is at risk of drug-resistance and is most likely to be very ill.
The patient must complete the full treatment (usually 6 months, but 8 months for reoccurance cases) to ensure that they are fully cured.
The correct combination and dosage of anti-TB medicines - known as short-course chemotherapy - must be used for the right length of time.
With the proper use of the treatment it is easy to get cured from tuberculosis. Unless of course you have multi-drug resistant TB, which ironically is caused by the improper use of anti-TB medicine.
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