WHAT IS DOTS?
TB treatment is a pretty long affair. Medicines must be taken for at least 6 months. But once treatment begins, symptoms subside quickly; patients feel better. Believing that they have been cured, most patients stop medication. They risk relapse and complications. Hence need for a foolproof tool that ensures that the patient indeed takes his medicines and doesn’t default midway. That tool is Supervision.
Home address of each patient is recorded and verified on day one. Being easily traceable, the patient cannot then quit and disappear into the sea of humanity – like before.
The patient stays at home but comes to a nearby clinic 3 times a week and swallows each dose of medicines, right in front of a health worker – hence the name Directly Observed Treatment (DOT). And S stands for ‘short course’ of treatment employed.