Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

TB Prevalence Down 30% in China after DOTS

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

TB Prevalence Down 30% in China after DOTS

Article excerpt

A decade after introducing the WHO-recommended tuberculosis (TB) control strategy across half of China, a recent study showed that prevalence of the deadly bacterial disease that affects the lungs has fallen by about one-third.

WHO and the Chinese Ministry of Health published a joint report in the Lancet on 30 July based on the findings of a survey conducted in 2000 among 376 000 people in all 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the Chinese mainland.

In the report, researchers compared TB prevalence in regions where the DOTS control strategy had been implemented with those in the rest of the country.

Researchers concluded that--as a direct result of the project--there were 382 000 fewer cases of TB in 2000 than 10 years earlier, a 30% decline in prevalence, taking into consideration a larger and more aged population.

WHO said TB remains a significant public health problem in China with 1.4 million new cases each year, where the most recent WHO data suggests that only four or five cases out of every 10 receive treatment through the DOTS programme.

Routinely collected data show that in 2000 only 30% of new TB cases had been referred to TB dispensaries known as DOTS clinics. The remaining cases were treated in general hospitals, by private practitioners or received no treatment at all, WHO said. …

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