Connecting DOTS with night shelters

Service begins in 25 homes to tackle TB

The city government is starting Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course in night shelters across the capital to control the increasing incidence of tuberculosis.

Health minister A K Walia said DOTS services have started in 25 shelter homes, being run by Delhi urban shelter improvement board, and will be gradually expanded throughout the capital.

He added that the homeless  are most vulnerable to tuberculosis (TB).
“The adherence to treatment is a big challenge for this segment of people and so we are starting out DOTS services in night shelters.”

Walia directed health officials to cross-examine TB patients for HIV infection.
Walia said the city government is already cross-checking 80 per cent of TB patients for HIV infection as the mortality has increased for both the diseases.

“The effective monitoring holds the key to reduction in both TB and HIV infections. The need of the time is to involve more NGOs and private practitioners in the implementation of RNTCP,” he said.

In Delhi, Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) is being implemented through a decentralised mode by the state TB control department at the state level and 26 chest clinics at district level belonging to MCD, NDMC, and NGO.  
The diagnostic and treatment services is free at 703 DOTS centres and 200 microscopy centres spread across the city.

Walia said one can prevent the disease by an early diagnosis and proper treatment under DOTS as it gives more than 86 per cent success rate among new infectious patients.

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