Families can help cure tuberculosis
EMBARGO: 00:01H (London time) Friday March 17, 2006. In North America the embargo lifts at 18:30H ET Thursday March 16, 2006.Family members of tuberculosis (TB) patients can help ensure their relatives successful treatment just as well as community health volunteers, according to an article in this week's issue of The Lancet.
A key component of the World Health Organization's recommended TB control strategy (known as DOTS) is direct observation of treatment, which WHO recommends a health worker should undertake. However, in some areas direct observation by health workers is not feasible.
James Newell (University of Leeds, UK) and colleagues did a randomised trial to compare community-DOTS and family member DOTS in ten hill and mountain districts of Nepal. They found that both strategies met international targets and had similar success rates.
Dr Newell concludes: "Both strategies are acceptable for use in the hill districts of Nepal. They may also be appropriate in many other parts of the world where-because of difficult terrain, low population density, or conflicts- direct observation of treatment by health workers is not feasible."
See also accompanying Comment by Paul Garner (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK).
Also in this week's issue a Review looks at TB epidemiology in Africa.
Contact: Dr James Newell, International Division, Faculty of Medicine & Health, University of Leeds, 71-75 Claredon Road, LEEDS LS2 9PL, UK.
T) 0113 34 36950
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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