Haryana is all set to become a Tuberculosis(TB)- free State thanks to the initiatives to combat and eradicate the disease, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said here on Tuesday.

He disclosed that these initiatives included the implementation of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control (RNTC) programme which aimed at decreasing mortality and morbidity and minimising transmission of infection until TB ceased to be a major public health problem.

Mr.Hooda said that Haryana had become the third State after Maharashtra and Gujarat to provide free second-line treatment.

He further claimed that with the implementation of the globally recommended Directly Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS), Haryana had succeeded in decreasing the morbidity and mortality. The case detection rate had increased to 158.5 per lakh per year and the new smear positive case detection rate was 57.2 per lakh per year.

“We have made great inroads in the control of the disease but we need to do more, and that too quickly, so that the gains made, are not lost,” he said in a statement issued on the eve of World TB Day.

He added that the endeavour was to achieve the TB-related Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets and short course DOTS remained the core strategy.

Haryana Health Minsister Geeta Bhukkal said the State Government was providing free sputum microscopy facilities and medicines to patients in six-to-eight-month regimens. All the three Medical Colleges in Harayana--PGIMS Rohtak, Agroha Medical College, Hisar, and M M College, Mullana, Ambala--were working towards implementation of RNTCP.