Analysis of Tuberculosis Treatment and Outcome with Directly Observed Therapy Short Course
A retrospective study analyzing tube rculosis (TB) treatment and outcome with Directly Observed Therapy Short Course (DOTS) in the first three years of its inception at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) (March 1995 to February 1998) was done. During the period, 1029 patients were seen. About two-thirds (67.9%) were young adults aged between 20 and 49 years. There was a female preponderance with a male to female ratio of 1:1.7. There were more urban (61.8%) than rural dwellers (36.8%). There was a sustained increase in the sputum conversion rate with the patients’ sputum smear negative at 2, 5 and 7 months being 97.90/0, 98.6% and 99.3% respectively. The cure rate was high at 87.9%. The default rate was also high at 29.30/0 with more than half occurring after 2 months of treatment. While 9.9% of the patients had retreatment, there was treatment failure in 0.8% and a low case fatality rate of 2.4%. DOTS therefore improved TB treatment outcome. There is need for improved enlightenment campaign / Health education. The absolute prerequisite for improving compliance and sustaining high cure rate is to ensure that the essential drugs will be continuously available free of charge to the patients.