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     The WHO-recommended Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course (DOTS) strategy was launched formally as Revised National TB Control programme in India in 1997 after pilot testing from 1993-1996. Since then DOTS has been widely advocated and successfully applied.

     DOTS is the most effective strategy available for controlling TB.

     The five key components of DOTS are

    1. Political commitment to control TB;
    2. Case detection by sputum smear microscopy examination among symptomatic patients;
    3. Patients are given anti- TB drugs under the direct observation of the health care provider/community DOT provider;
    4. Regular, uninterrupted supply of anti-TB drugs; and
    5. Systematic recording and reporting system that allows assessment of treatment results of each and every patient and of whole TB control programme.

      The patient is the VIP of the Programme and responsibility of ensuring regular and complete treatment of the patient lies with the health system.

       In 2006, the new stop TB strategy was recommended internationally by WHO. The components of the new stop TB strategy are the following:

    1. Pursue High quality DOTS expansion and enhancement
    2. Address TB/HIV, MDR-TB and other challenges
    3. Contribute to health system strengthening
    4. Engage all health care providers
    5. Empower people with TB, and communities
    6. Enable and promote research

       RNTCP is already addressing almost all of the components of the stop TB strategy.