Rewari’s 87 Ultrasound Centres on Radar Over Lowest sex Ratio
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All the 87 ultrasound centres in Rewari, Haryana, are under the state government’s radar after the district recorded the lowest sex ratio at birth (SRB) of 833 in the last four years in 2022.
The government is screening the records of ultrasound tests performed last year to discover possible violations and discourage the centres from disclosing the gender of unborn babies, The Tribune reported.
As per government data, 903 girls were born against 1,000 boys in Rewari 2021, 913 in 2020, 918 in 2019 and 915 in 2018. The district had registered an SRB of 802 in 2014.
Thirty villages with a population of more than 2,000 where the SRB is less than 800 have been identified and a survey will be conducted to ascertain the reason for the dismal gender ratio.
“Gender imbalance is really a cause of concern. Hence, 10 teams consisting of two health experts have started checking the operation of ultrasound centres simultaneously in the district,” Dr Vishal Rao, nodal officer, pre-natal diagnostic techniques (PNDT), Rewari, told The Tribune.
“The teams are screening form-Fs, which have detailed information like the name, address, previous children with their sex and medical history of pregnant women undergoing an ultrasound. Besides, it is verifying the compliance of the PC-PNDT Act,” Rao added.
After the screening, which is likely to be completed by Thursday, he said, a report would be prepared based on the findings, and appropriate action would be taken against ultrasound centres that have violated norms so that they did not dare to do it again.
“Besides carrying out awareness programmes in various villages to make people aware of the ill-effects of gender imbalance, four raids were also conducted to unearth the racket involved in pre-natal sex determination tests last year,” Rao said.
The SRB of five Haryana districts, including Rewari, had slipped below 900 for the first time in six years, according to a Hindustan Times report. The Manohar Lal Khattar government was alarmed by the “disturbing dip” in the SRB of Hisar (904), Karnal (903), Kurukshetra (893), Faridabad (892) and Rewari (883). These districts had recorded an SRB between 903 and 925 in 2021.
The SRB of Hisar, Karnal, Faridabad, Jhajjar, Kurukshetra, and Rewari fell for the first time below the figures recorded in 2016 and 2017, according to official data. For example, the SRB of Kurukshetra suddenly dipped to 893 in 2021 from 924 in 2017-18.
“We are concerned about the alarming dip in the SRB of five districts ... I have given directions to conduct raids and check every facility having ultrasound machines ... I will not tolerate this slackness,” state health minister Anil Vij told Hindustan Times.
The field staff-in-charge dealing with SRB was given a seven-day deadline and warned that no health department official would be spared for the laxity, Vij added.
According to experts involved in the ‘Save the girl child’ programme, the practice of sex selection is common despite the nearly 1,100 raids conducted within and outside Haryana to bust sex determination rackets in the last seven years.
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