Alarmed over the declining sex ratio in the State, Indian Medical Association Goa president Dr Medha Salkar on Saturday proposed that sex determination test should be made mandatory and that female fetus should be traced up to the delivery.
“As per the available data Goa witnesses approximately 25,000 deliveries a year, if we have a pilot project for five years then we will have about one lakh odd pregnancies. I feel that this one lakh odd pregnancies can easily be traced and followed up since it would give us concrete data about the declining sex ratio,” said Dr Salkar while speaking at the state level seminar on Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act held in Panaji.
As per government data in the year 2014 it was revealed that the sex ratio of Goa was 953 per 1000 of males, in the year 2015 it was 932 and from January to September 2016 it has come down to 916 per 1000 of males.
“Legally techniques can be used to detect various abnormalities like genetic and metabolic disorders, hemoglobinopathy, ex-linked genetic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus that could arise before birth and which could be linked to family history of any health condition. While using these techniques a doctor cannot detect or disclose the sex of the fetus to the pregnant lady or any of her relatives,” said legal assistant Pallavi Mulgaonkar.
The chief medical officer of State Family Welfare Bureau Dr Vandana Dhume said that the mindset of people and the misuse of easily available technology which is capable of sex determination could be the main cause of female foeticide which leads to declining sex ratio; however Pallavi Mulgaonkar stated that the enforcement agencies have failed to crack any clinics or doctors violating the PCPNDT Act. She said that as per her knowledge in Goa only two complaints were filed where action was initiated by the concerned authorities.
“Doctors violating disclosing the sex of the unborn child and violating other norms are liable for three to five years of imprisonment along with fine of upto Rs 50,000,” she added.