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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Sex determination continues despite strict norms, raids

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, August 28, 2013
First Published: 09:59 IST(28/8/2013) | Last Updated: 10:38 IST(28/8/2013)

Despite strict norms under Pre-Conception and PreNatal Diagnostic Techniques (PC&PNDT) Act, sex determination is taking place without any fear in the diagnostic centres of Bhopal.

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The health department team conducts raid on sonography centres and seize machines and documents from there, but later the officials release them with a simple warning.

On Monday, the health department team raided the Choksey Diagnostic Centre, Tallaiya, for the third time.

The raids that were done under the PC&PNDT act by a team of Union ministry of health and family welfare last year on this diagnostic centre also failed to give concrete evidences against the centre and hence, left the centre owner after warning him.

HT contacted experts to know why despite strict norms the diagnostic centres responsible for doing sex determination are running freely.

Strong will by politicians and executive members of the committee is important to stop sex determination, said Tapan Mohanty, member of advisory committee, PC&PNDT Act of the state.

Introducing software may not be a proper solution as centres do not maintain any record of sex determination cases, he said.

Mohanty said the district committee of PC&PNDT act of Bhopal must be reconstructed as it is running for past many years against the norms that say the members should be changed after a particular duration of time.

Electing new members for the district committee is important for fare decision in sex determination cases, he added.

Collectors should ensure that high penalty be charged on those supporting sex determinations, he added.

“One of the principal secretaries of health of Orissa took strict action against those doctors who were suspected of conducting sex determination. Despite political pressure the principal secretary stood on his decision and didn’t step back. Ultimately, the suspected doctors were charged with penalty. This kind of attitude is required among executives to restrict sex determination,” he added.

Chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Pankaj Shukla said to catch someone doing sex determination is possible only through sting operations.

But it is tough to convince a woman for sting operation, he added.

There are some doctors like Dr Basanti Sahu of JP Hospital who support the department and inform officials about suspicious cases, he said.

Doctors working in government as well as private sector should inform CMHO’s office about suspicious cases coming to them, he added.

Dr Veena Sinha, nodal officer of district committee of PC&PNDT act, said regular monitoring of sonography centres creates fear among those conducting sex determinations and this should be conducted regularly. She said counselling of doctors who perform sonographies should be done to restrict them from performing sex determination.


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