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Free Content Tuberculosis control and directly observed therapy from the public health/human rights perspective [Counterpoint]

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Directly observed therapy, short course (DOTS) is the current international strategy for controlling tuberculosis. Decisions have been taken internationally about the increasing tuberculosis epidemic—what to do and why to do it. But do we know how the DOTS strategy can be implemented most appropriately and what changes need to be made to ensure that it is effective? This paper uses the Public Health/Human Rights framework to discuss TB control from a human rights rather than the biomedical perspective. The aim is to introduce different approaches to the current DOTS strategy in order to find more effective and appropriate ways to treat and care for people with tuberculosis. The paper argues that key dimensions of social, economic and physical access to TB services need to be assessed and accounted for in programme design. This will require that TB control adopt a wider interdisciplinary and multisectoral perspective to complement the current biomedical orientation.

Keywords: DOT; human rights; public health; tuberculosis control

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, UK 2: Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, UK

Publication date: July 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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