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DOTS to be launched in Delhi night shelters

Written by Admin |Updated : February 12, 2013 10:09 AM IST

Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) services in government-run night shelters in the capital will be launched by the Delhi government to curb tuberculosis among the homeless, who are vulnerable to this lung disease.

'It is being initially started in 25 night shelters and it will be gradually expanded throughout Delhi,' said Delhi Health Minister A.K. Walia.

The WHO recommended strategy for tuberculosis control is DOTS Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course. It provides a sure cure for tuberculosis with a course lasting six to eight months. It is available free of cost to the patients in government hospitals in the entire country.

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The symptoms of TB commonly resolve within a few weeks of starting the treatment and many patients then lose motivation to continue taking their medication. Patients should not stop the treatment even if they feel better, because the bacteria are still in their body. Finishing treatment is the only way to cure tuberculosis completely. If taken for a full course, current anti-TB drugs can cure tuberculosis nearly 100% of the time in 6 months. Patients who take their TB treatment in an irregular and unreliable way are at greatly increased risk of treatment failure, relapse and the development of multi drug-resistant TB strains which do not respond to standard TB drugs, is difficult and costly to treat.

There are 150 night shelters run by the government's Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. 'Adherence to treatment is a big challenge for this segment of people, which frequently defaults on regular treatment,' he added.

With inputs from IANS

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