DOTS implementation in a post-war, United Nations-administered territory: Lessons from Kosovo

Bahri Tigani, Xhevat Kurhasani, Lisa V. Adams, Gazmend Zhuri, Rukije Mehmeti, Daniela Cirillo, Max Salfinger, Alka Dev, Lucica Ditiu, Giovanni Battista Migliori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Setting: The WHO-recommended strategy of tuberculosis control (DOTS strategy) has been shown to be effective in reducing tuberculosis incidence in a variety of countries/ settings. Little evidence exists on the implementation, and effectiveness of DOTS in a transitional, post-war setting. Objective: To describe the process of establishing a National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) and implementing DOTS throughout Kosovo, and the outcomes achieved by this international collaboration in a post-war transitional setting during 1999-2005. Methods: In 1999, as part of the re-organization of health services, a DOTS-based NTP was established and operationalized through a collaboration of several international partners in Kosovo. Five key steps supported these activities. Results: Kosovo has reached the World Health Assembly targets, having achieved 75% case detection rate (sputum smear-positive cases) and 93% treatment success rate. During 2000-2005, new smear-positive tuberculosis case notifications decreased by 44.5% (median annual decrease for all cases: 7.6%). Conclusions: Kosovo's success story is a collaborative tale, each partner involved playing a unique role in supporting NTP activities. The Kosovo example provides yet another setting in which DOTS implementation has resulted in successful patient outcomes. The international TB control community would be well-served by formal guidelines for implementing DOTS and the new STOP TB Strategy in these settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

Keywords

  • DOTS
  • Kosovo
  • Stop TB strategy
  • TB control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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