The skewed sex ratio problem seems to be back to haunt Mehsana as,according to the latest data analysis by a PNDT Act implementation team,around 700 pregnancies were terminated in the district last year.
These staggering numbers have got District Collector Rajkumar Beniwal to introduce the Active Tracker technology to check illegal sex determination tests through sonography machines.
We are also looking at employing sting operation teams from Mumbai to track down doctors in the district who conduct sex determination,which may have later resulted in termination of pregnancy. While almost 90 per cent of the doctors have agreed voluntarily to use the tracker,around 10 per cent have refused to do so. We will be monitoring them closely. The device costs between Rs 30,000 and Rs 35,000. We have left it to the doctors if they want to use this device, said Beniwal.
The initiative was taken at a recent seminar held last week by the health department that saw 70 doctors in attendance where the technology was introduced. Active Tracker is already being used in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra and was introduced in Haryana two months ago to curb sex determination and resultant female foeticide.
According to the last Census,Mehsana (urban) reported 794 girls to every 1,000 boys while the rural areas figures stood at 860. The Active Tracker will keep a track of all the activities of the sonography machine and the data will allow us to monitor if any sex determination procedures were undertaken by the clinic, added Beniwal.
Meanwhile,as many as 12 doctors in the region had their licences for sonography machines suspended in January because of discrepancies between the number of Form Fs and number of pregnancies completed by the clinic.
If a doctor has to use his sonography machine,he has to get his licence renewed. This tracker is a great idea that I support, said S P Patel,a doctor from Mehsana.