Stop using old weapons to fight the war against TB
- By: Susmita Barman
This year, World TB Day saw posters in health clinics, on billboards, and in newspapers trumpeting the success of the supervised drug regimen Directly Observed Therapy, Short Course (DOTS) launched 10 years ago. They advertised encouraging statistics, such as that DOTS has a cure rate of 83%.1 But how long will this strategy-which deploys outdated drugs and diagnostic tests-work against the new multi-drug resistant superstrains or those who have both tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS?
The same week saw two contradictory press releases. The first, issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), claimed it was “gaining ground” against tuberculosis, and the second, released by the aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said the world is actually “losing its fight against the disease.” Médecins Sans Frontières contested WHO's claims and blamed it for using outdated drugs and diagnostic methods to control the disease.
According to Médecins sans Frontières, WHO has been clinging to