Sex ratio at birth improves thanks to PCPNDT Act

Going by statistics from the Pune Municipal Corporation's birth and deaths registration department, there has been an increase in the number of girls born every month this year. Experts welcome this trend but feel it prudent to wait before announcing an impact of the strict implementation of the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act in the city.

Census 2011 had come out with damning reports of an increasingly skewed child-sex ratio in the country. Pune fared badly in 2010. It was 879 girls per 1,000 boys while in 2011 it was 884 girls per 1,000 boys. Since then though health officials here have been able to drill fear in the hearts of the medical community. Inspection drives and raids have been conducted to check whether medical records were maintained or not.

According to Dr Sanjeev Wavare, appropriate authority for the PMC in implementing the PC-PNDT Act, said there has been a positive increase in the number of girls being born every month. While the sex ratio at birth of girls:boys was 934/1000 in 2012, a month-wise break up this year shows 887 girls/1000 boys in January, 894 girls in February, 919 girls were born in March, 1000 girls in April, 921 in May, 908 in June, 951 in July and 960 in August. Reports of the last quarter have yet to be compiled, Wavare said attributing this positive trend to a series of measures taken by the health department in implementing the PC-PNDT Act.

The latest drive is to ensure that ultrasound centres are numbered along the lines of RTO issuing vehicle licenses.

"Most doctors have old machines that have to be discarded. Some centres have more than two ultrasound machines. To prevent misuse, health authorities at PMC have already numbered 400 ultrasound machines. There 410 ultrasound centres in the city and doctors have been given a deadline of December 31 to get the machines numbered,"Wavare said.

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