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Introduction: Annually 2 million people in India develop Tuberculosis and 330,000 die. WHO-recommended DOTS strategy was pilot-tested in 1993 and launched as Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) in 1997. Awareness of DOTS among the doctors in the private sector was appalling although nationwide coverage was attained by 2006. Objective: To study awareness of DOTS among Medical Practitioners of urban and rural Mysore. Method: 401 Medical practitioners in hospitals and nursing homes of urban and rural areas of Mysore who treated Tuberculosis patients (private and public sector) were approached. They were grouped under different specialties as per the year of graduation (before or after introduction of DOTS). Result: 38 % doctors who graduated before the introduction of DOTS didn’t follow DOTS compared to 14.9% doctors who graduated later. 100% doctors working in Government sector felt that DOTS was better than daily regimen while 85% from the private sector felt so. Only 47.9% of the doctors in the private sector practiced DOTS compared to 95.1 % in the Govt. Sector. Hence, the number of doctors practicing DOTS in Private Sector was less than 50 % of that in the Govt. Sector. Both of these comparisons were found to be statistically highly significant (p<0.001). Awareness of DOTS was alarmingly low among Orthopedic Surgeons, Gynecologists and Pediatricians when compared to Physicians and General Practitioners. Conclusion: DOTS awareness is still low among doctors who graduated before the introduction of DOTS. Private practitioners harbored myths and misconceptions about DOTS.
DOTS AWARENESS, TUBERCULOSIS, MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS