A. Obead, N. Rajpurohit.
Garyounis Medical Journal Vol.19. 1998-2002: 6-25
It is now more than a century since the causative organism of tuberculosis, the tubercie bacillus, has been identified by Dr. Robert Koch in 1882. Although highly potent antitubercular drugs and nearly 100% curable drug regimens have been available for more than 40 years, yet tuberculosis continues to kill more people today than at any time in history. One-third of the world’s population is already infected by tubercle bacilli. For the decade 1991-2000, about 90 nil/lions new active cases of tuberculosis will appear and 30 millions will die of it. Patients with multiple-drug-resistance and HIV infection are posing a major threat to the community. Everyone who breathes air, from Wall Street to the Great Wall of China, needs to worry about this risk. Major causes of failure to control the disease include lack of drug compliance on the part of patients, improper drug prescriptions by physicians and lack of political and financial commitment on the part of the governments. In directly observed treatment short course (DOTS) health worker ensures that patients swallow each dose of their medicine for a full 6 months and a cure rate of 95% has been achieved even in the poorest of countries. In this review an attempt has been made to highlight epidemiology of global tuberculosis, rationale of its short course chemotherapy and an innovative strategy, the DOTS, as the most cost effective strategy to control tuberculosis at global level.
Keywords: Global tuberculosis, tuberculosis, DOTS.