Status report of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme: January 2003.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious public health problem in spite of DOTS programme recommended by WHO. One person dies from TB in India every minute. Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) is playing a major role in global DOTS expansion. DOTS coverage has expanded from 2% of the population in mid-1998 to 57% by the end of January, 2003. RNTCP has made a significant contribution to public health capacity. The programme has saved the people of India hundreds of millions of dollars. Monitoring the clinical course using smear microscopy and accurately reporting treatment outcomes is essential in well-functioning DOTS programme. RNTCP has invested heavily and made significant strides in maintaining and improving quality DOTS. State and district level programme reviews are a key component of the process. RNTCP has established guidelines for the involvement of the private sector and medical colleges. A member by ongoing technical activities will improve RNTCP’s surveillance and monitoring systems. However a challenge lies with the programme and a collective effort is welcome. (excerpt)