Pune: PMC launches drive to prevent misuse of sonography machines for determining sex of the foetus

Pune: PMC launches drive to prevent misuse of sonography machines for determining sex of the foetus

Pune: PMC launches drive to prevent misuse of sonography machines for determining sex of the foetus

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The Pune Municipal Corporation’s health department has initiated a special inspection campaign aimed at monitoring ultrasound centres to prevent the misuse of sonography machines for determining the sex of fetuses. This drive, which began on June 5, will continue until June 25, with a total of 803 authorized centres slated for inspection.

Dr Kalpana Baliwant, Acting Medical Officer of Health at PMC, highlighted that while routine inspections are conducted every three months at government-approved ultrasound centres, this special drive has been prompted by state directives.

A circular issued by Dr Nitin Ambedkar, Director of Health Services, Maharashtra, on June 1 instructed districts and municipal corporations to conduct a special drive to ensure compliance with the norms of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act of 1994.

The inspection checklist includes verifying the presence of a portable ultrasound machine and a designated vehicle for transporting the equipment between centres. Teams are also tasked with confirming the display of a prominently placed board stating that sex determination is prohibited and illegal under the PC-PNDT Act.

As of now, 30 cases have been filed against doctors under the PC-PNDT Act, signalling the urgency of stringent enforcement measures.

Recent arrests made by Pune rural police underscore the importance of such measures, as a doctor and an ‘agent’ were apprehended for allegedly conducting an illegal sex determination test in a Baramati village.

Instructions have been issued to establish inspection teams and conduct audits of ‘F’ forms, which document prenatal diagnostic procedures. Approximately 2,240 ultrasound machines are in operation, prompting the formation of special squads to devise action plans for thorough centre inspections.

To ensure effective monitoring without causing undue harassment, the state advises that inspection teams receive training on form verification, machine sealing, and proper conduct during inspections.