The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 70, Issue 11, pp 885–889 | Cite as

Directly observed treatment for tuberculosis

Special Ariticle


Directly Observed Treatment-Short Course (DOTS) has been a successful strategy in the global control of tuberculosis (TB) in adults. However, reports of implementation are scantily available in pediatric context. Present article reviews diagnostic uncertainties of TB in children commonly faced by physicians on account of the vague clinical presentations, unreliable tuberculin tests or TB score charts, non-specific hematological, biochemical or radiological evidence, difficulty in sputum expectoration and non-availability or ill-affordability of specialised tests. It also describes therapeutic problems arising due to the physician’s inexpertise, child’s incomprehensibility and parental anxiety. DOTS was found to be highly effective in 930 Indian children having TB over the 6-year study period, during which, a rise in number of cases with adult pattern of disease was also noted. The trend change in pediatric TB scenario is thought to have taken place due to malnutrition so widely prevalent in this country. Irrespective of the changing trend, DOTS strategy was found to be effective for all types of pediatric TB. A need, therefore, exists for quick resolution of the programme issues related to pediatric drug dispensing‘ physicians’ reservations about acceptance of strategy in this age-group, service-utilisation of DOTS providers for the selected cases unable to visit DOTS centres and giving executional priority to children during ongoing expansion of Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) in country.

Key words

Tuberculosis Children Directly Observed Treatment-Short Course (DOTS) Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) 


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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.L.R.S. Institute of TB and Respiratory DiseasesNew DelhiIndia

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