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Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2005 Sep-Nov;85(5-6):271-6. Epub 2005 Oct 25.

Revised national TB control programme in India.

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  • 1Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 522 C Wing, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi 110 011, India.


The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP), an application in India of the Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course (DOTS) strategy to control TB is being implemented in the country since 1997. The goal of the RNTCP is to decrease mortality and morbidity due to TB and cut transmission of infection until TB ceases to be a major public health problem in India Since 1999, achievements of the RNTCP have largely determined the global DOTS progress. It has been cited as the fastest expansion in the history of DOTS and in terms of patients being treated, it is the largest programme in the world. More than 50-fold expansion in RNTCP coverage has occurred since 1998 thus making DOTS accessible to more than 83% of the country's population. Quality of services has been maintained during this rapid expansion. As a result, the proportion of sputum positive cases confirmed in the laboratory is on par with international standards. By September 2005, the programme has initiated more than 3.5 million patients on treatment, thus saving over 600,000 additional lives. In 2003, new sputum positive case detection rate of 69% was achieved against target of at least 70% and treatment success rate of 86% has been achieved above the target of 85% Aggressive steps are being taken to meet global TB control targets by covering the entire country with RNTCP by 2005. Despite these achievements, there are many challenges for the RNTCP. Implementing DOTS in a diverse and large country, maintaining the quality of services during rapid expansion phase, decentralization of programme management to the states and, widening the reach of the programme to reach all sections of the society are some of the major challenges.

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