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Himachal to install tracking device to bridle female foeticide

Bhawani Negi | Shimla |

Taking cue from Madhaya Pradesh to bridle female foeticide, Himachal Pradesh too has decided to install tracking device to ultrasound machines in the state.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh Thakur said, “The tracking devices will put all the ultrasound machines on surveillance in the state. The devices will be mandatorily installed in phased manner in all the ultrasound machines in both governments as well as private sector. This will not only help in curbing female foeticide but also improving Child Sex Ratio (CSR).”
On pilot basis Una, Kangra districts bordering Punjab and Hamirpur district have been selected. Rest of the districts will be covered gradually, he added.
The electronic device is attached to the ultrasound machine which will help in tracking sonographies conducted to keep a check on pre-natal tests.
“The device enables online monitoring of the ultrasound machine, which is linked to a control room. The location of the control room, is yet to be finalised,” he added.
To lend impetus to the initiative to be taken, health officials have already been provided training from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, said Kaul Singh Thakur.
The cost of the single device is around Rs.30,000 to 35,000 and the expenditure in private ultrasound centres will be shared both by the owner and the state government, he disclosed.
He said that the government was already taking a number of initiatives to check sex determination and strict action was being taken against the offenders under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test (PC and PNDT) Act.
According top 2011 census, the state has overall CSR (0-6 years) of 909 females per 1000 males, Una district had the lowest CSR at 875 among the districts 100 districts in the country.
The tribal district of the state Lahaul and Spiti was top in the country with highest CSR of 1033 females per 1000 males.
Kangra district has CSR 876, while Hamirpur 887.
Himachal Pradesh figured amongst the worst 10 states with lowest CSR in the country.