Madhya Pradesh has acquired a dubious distinction, recording the country’s highest number of foeticide and infanticide cases and the second-highest percentage of anaemia in children. The figures for 2010 have been revealed in the sixth issue of the ‘National Health Profile’ report from the union health ministry.
Of the 186 registered cases across the country, the state registered 51. Punjab was a distant second with 29 cases and Maharashtra third with 18.
The state also recorded 23 cases of foeticide among the 102 in the country, UP and Tamil Nadu both recorded 17.
The figures are ironic for a state where the pet project of the chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is Ladli Laxmi Yojna – meant to improve the gender ratio and the standard of health and education among girls.
According to 2011 Census data, the state’s sex ratio has dropped by 20 points – from 932 in 2001 to 912 in 2011.
“The committees constituted to ensure compliance of the PC & PNDT Act, meant to ban sex determination tests, are defunct,” said Sandhya Shaili, president of Akhil Bharatiya Janwadi Mahila Samiti. Only one doctor from Bhopal, Nirmal Jaisawal of Nirmal Nursing Home, has been convicted for its violation. After seven years of trial, he received a year’s prison sentence.
As far as anaemia in children (0-5 years) is concerned, MP came a close second with a figure of 74.1% — Bihar was the first with 78%. “The deliberate neglect of the girl child is one of the major reasons,” said Dr Shalini Kapoor, technical advisor, MP Voluntary Health Association.
Health secretary Sudhi Ranjan Mohanty said: “Concerted efforts are necessary to undo the malpractices and the government has initiated such steps already.”
Health minister Narottam Mishra declined to comment.