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PMC health dept seeks govt stand on device to track sonography machines

The Pune Municipal Corporation’s health department has written to the state authority seeking details on the status of active tracker,a device that can be fitted in ultrasound machines to review scanned images of a pregnant woman and help check illegal sex selection.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Published: July 31, 2012 12:55:58 am

The Pune Municipal Corporation’s health department has written to the state authority seeking details on the status of active tracker,a device that can be fitted in ultrasound machines to review scanned images of a pregnant woman and help check illegal sex selection.

The project to install active tracker — also known as the silent observer —was part of an initiative introduced by the state in May 2010. It consists of a software and a device which when installed in a sonography machine allows a collector to directly review scanned images of the patient. It maintains a log of pregnancy tests done in a year,and helps track down cases of female foeticide. It was introduced on a trial basis in Kolhapur.

However,after a series of objections was levelled against the scheme,the matter was referred to the Bombay High Court and the state had appointed a committee under Dr P P Doke to review the feasibility of the project.

The committee had found that the system was not cost effective and. The panel members said it needed more time to assess the impact of fitting such a device to check illegal sex selection.

A report to the effect had been submitted to the state government. However,the state has not yet passed a resolution to recommend the use of active tracker.

Meenal Sarawade,chairperson,PMC’s women and child welfare committee,said they had unanimously approved a proposal to install the device in Pune. “The project is being implemented in Kolhapur. The tracker should be initially fitted in corporation-run hospitals,” Sarawade said.

When contacted,Dr Kishore Pakhare,assistant health officer,PMC in-charge of the Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act,told Newsline that they had asked the state health authorities for a status update.

The committee’s recommendation will be taken up by the standing committee of the PMC and only after it is okayed,the proposal will be sent to the general body,Dr S T Pardeshi,acting chief medical officer of health,PMC,said.

Bombay HC stays gazette notification

Dr Asaram Khade,Maharashtra nodal officer in-charge of the state PC-PNDT cell,said that the Mumbai HC had stayed the gazette notification issued by the Government of India on June 4 that had restricted radiologists from visiting more than two clinics within a district to perform ultrasound. The stay is valid till September 3 when the next hearing will take place,Khade said. The Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) had said as pregnancy ultrasound comprises only about 2-5 per cent of all ultrasounds performed by radiologists,the notification would unfairly impact other tests too. In an order issued on July 26,the Delhi HC had also issued a stay on the gazette notification issued on June 4.

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