Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Million Missing Girls

The recent article in Lancet has again focussed on Female Foetecide that is practiced in some parts of India.There will be edits in Newspapers-TOI- has it as lead edit today.There will be seminars and discussions, but at the end of the day whats the solution? how do we tackle this problem?
As this study has shown, all the 'established' causes have fallen on the wayside.
Its not poor but Middle class and rich are major offenders.
Dowry is not the cause for aborting girl child.
It's not illiterate mother, rather well educated mother prefers to have male child. It also absolves husbands who were accused of forcing their wives to get Sex determination done.
Our society is supposed to be agrarian so extra pair of hands(Son) was preferable. But now statistics show that even in rural economy females contribute more economically, so its not an issue.
As obstetrician I feel really helpless.As technology advances, with 3-D Ultrasonography, better resolution on good machine,it's very easy to know sex of the child. It is now possible that on 3D USG machines even mothers will be able to know sex of the child when USG scan is in progress.
With newer technique even Abortion is easy to perform.Few tablets and female foetus is dead.It will abort on its own or Doctor will have to do to protect mother from severe infection.
In ART methods , its possible to Pre select sex of the foetus before Embryo Transfer.
So where do we go from here? You cant educate well educated mother. All that we have done so far is to show danda of PNDT act to doctors.But there will be black sheep in every field and there will be greedy doctors who will be willing to carry out USG scan.With these newer machines he wont have to even say anything.Mothers will recognise sex of the foetus.
I sincerely hope that we will be able to find out some ways to reduce this.I believe that there is steady decline in demand for sex determination tests.May be after few years ratio will correct itself. But till than I will keep my fingers crossed.---PK

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