The proportion of new smear-positive TB cases registered under DOTS in a given year that successfully completed treatment, whether with bacteriologic evidence of success (“cured”) or without (“treatment completed”).
At the end of treatment, each patient is assigned one of the following six mutually exclusive treatment outcomes: cured; completed; died; failed; defaulted; and transferred out with outcome unknown. The proportions of cases assigned to these outcomes, plus any additional cases registered for treatment but not assigned to an outcome, add up to 100% of cases registered.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the active respiratory disease. In healthy people, infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis often causes no symptoms, since the person's immune system acts to “wall off” the bacteria. The symptoms of active TB of the lung are coughing, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics.
Smear-positive is defined as a case of TB where Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli are visible in the patient's sputum when examined under the microscope.
A new case of TB is defined as a patient who has never received treatment for TB, or who has taken anti-TB drugs for less than 1 month.
DOTS is the internationally recommended approach to TB control, which forms the core of the Stop TB Strategy (WHO, 2006b). The five components of DOTS are:
- Political commitment with increased and sustained financing;
- Case detection through quality-assured bacteriology;
- Standardized treatment with supervision and patient support;
- An effective drug supply and management system; and
- A monitoring and evaluation system, and impact measurement.
In countries that have adopted the DOTS strategy, it may be implemented in all or some parts of the country, and by all or some health-care providers. Only those TB patients notified by health-care facilities providing DOTS services are included in this indicator.
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