Child sex ratio improves in Ganjam district

Berhampur: The child sex ratio at birth in Odisha’s Ganjam district rose to 869 females against 1000 males in 2017 from 790 females in 2014, officials said today.

Though the figure has improved in the district in 2017 when compared to 2014, it is still lower than the state’s average of 921 females against 1000 males, the officials said.

The child sex ratio at birth has improved in the district since 2014 following several steps take by the district administration, including crackdown on illegal ultrasound clinics, strict vigil on sex determination tests and creating awareness among parents about ‘Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao’, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) R Jagadeesh Patnaik said.

To check female foeticide, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers have been asked to track women from pregnancy to delivery across the district, the CDMO said.

District Collector Prem Chandra Chaudhary had directed the authorities concerned to visit ultrasound clinics frequently and randomly check their documents to prevent sex determination tests and improve the sex ratio, he said.

At the same time, Chaudhary has asked doctors and health activists to keep an eye on the alleged functioning of mobile ultrasound devices, which are used for conducting sex determination tests, Patnaik said.

The collector has directed the district advisory committee to review implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act).

He also asked the voluntary organisations to felicitate parents, who have only one or two daughters, across villages.

This might change the preference of parents for a male child, Patnaik said.

According to Sudhir Sabat, director of Childline, an NGO in Berhampur, the significant gap in the number of males and females points to widespread female foeticide.