CEBU, Philippines - 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 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 has five components.
1. Sustained political and financial commitment. 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). It helps to ensure that 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. It ensures that a credible national TB program does not have to turn anyone away.
5. Standardized recording and reporting. This helps to keep track of each individual patient and to monitor the overall program performance.