How female foeticide, dengue scarred calendar


Film director Yash Chopra's passing away in Mumbai after contracting dengue may have brought media focus on the mosquito-borne disease in the state but throughout the latter part of the year, dengue had kept Pune civic health workers on their toes. There were 1,000 cases in barely three months.

Apart from dengue, female foeticide —especially after the unearthing of foetuses at Sudam Munde's hospital in Beed — and the drive that led to names of 69 doctors being recommended for suspension of licence was the other major health headline of 2012.

Dengue cases are reported each year but this is for the first time that the civic authorities started collecting information from private hospitals. It led to reporting of more cases. Until Thursday, PMC reported 1,049 cases. There were 441 cases in November, 270 in October and 137 in September. A total of 11 dengue deaths in a brief span also had corporators in the Pune Municipal Corporation pulling up civic health officials for inaction in controlling mosquitoes. Dr S T Pardeshi, acting health chief of Pune Municipal Corporation said that the last three months has had civic health workers on their toes and assures that the next year would not see a surge in dengue cases.

Allocation up, swine flu surveillance stronger

Swine flu that had hit the city hard in 2009 continued to claim victims in 2012. On Thursday, the civic body reported another death, that of a three-year-old from Lonavala. There have been 35 H1N1 deaths this year. H1N1, dengue, malaria have become endemic. The civic body has increased its budgetary allocation to prevent new infections. "Our surveillance measures have been strengthened and this year we were able to detect 500 cases of H1N1 infection," Pardeshi said.

PC-PNDT Act tightened after wake-up call

Census 2011 was a wake-up call. It showed a skewed child sex ratio. Pune did not fare well either. Health officials took it as a challenge and put fear in radiologists. They were pulled up for not maintaining medical records. Portable ultrasound machines were banned. Inspection was stepped up earlier this year after 12 female foetuses were unearthed in Beed district and Dr Sudam and Saraswati Munde were arrested for conducting sex selective tests. A total of 396 cases have been lodged against doctors for violating provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act in the state while 13 cases have been slapped on doctors in Pune of which 10 pertain to non-maintenance of records. According to the state health department, of the 69 doctors recommended to the Maharashtra Medical Council for action, at least 20 are from Pune circle area.

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