Make disclosure or face shut down: Odisha govt to ultrasound units
Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has decided to shut down ultrasound centres which have failed to disclose requisite information under the PCPNDT Act.
"It is now mandatory for all clinics to submit form `F` through the software which has online and offline options.
"All clinics would have to submit the said form by the end of this August," health and family welfare secretary PK Mohapatra said upon conclusion of a meeting of the State Advisory Committee.
Expressing concern over the low child sex ratio in the eight most populous districts of the state, SAC recommended strengthening of monitoring of ultrasound clinics through surprise visits, decoy operations and tracking of form `F`.
With increase in institutional delivery, now it is easy to track pregnancy, Mohapatra said.
"Taking community action to change the mindset of wanting only male offspring is also being taken up in the four focus districts of Angul, Cuttack, Khurda and Ganjam.
"We are also working to strengthen implementation of PCPNDT Act with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)," he added.
In February, the Department of Health and Family Welfare had introduced software for submission of form `F`, which has simplified the process of filling and submission of the same by ultrasound clinics.
The software can analyse and identify discrepancies by ultrasound centres. The SAC said that only 152 out of 650 ultrasound clinics had submitted their form `F` through the software.
The health department has, meanwhile, set up four squads for surprise visits and regular inspections of ultrasound clinics, he said.
This apart, the SAC also decided to introduce topics on PCPNDT Act and social issues around son preference in the state level institutions like Biju Patnaik State Police Academy, Gopabandhu Academy for Administration and others.
Strict implementation of provisions of the Act through compliance at USG clinics, monitoring visits to ultrasound units and community level awareness programmes are being given utmost priority to address sex selection in the State, Mohapatra said.
Eight districts having lowest child sex ratio were identified as Nayagarh (855), Dhenkanal (877), Angul (899), Ganjam (908), Cuttack (914), Khordha (916), Kendrapada (926) and Jajpur (926).
These districts were found to have higher concentration of ultrasound units, which reflected a direct linkage of misuse of technology with declining child sex ratio, Mohapatra said.
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