J&K’s sex ratio at birth better than national average: NHM Director

J&K Sex Ratio

Says sex determination being regulated through effective implementation of PCPNDT

The sex ratio at birth in Jammu and Kashmir is better than national average while sex determination is being regulated through effective implementation of PCPNDT, NHM Director Ayushi Sudan said on Saturday.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in Srinagar, she said that the sex ratio in J&K is definitely better than the national average because of social factors.

"There is still need of capacity building for Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (prohibition of sex selection) Act, 1994 and the main aim of the act is to prohibit sex determination especially at the time of pre-natal diagnosis," Sudan said as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

She said that gender bias and sex determination is a critical public health concern which is being regulated through effective implementation of PCPNDT Act for which a comprehensive action strategy has been devised and monitored.

"Here is a need for capacity building of our stakeholders, so as to get the final details of the act for what we have gathered here and a similar workshop will be held in Jammu division as well so that this act can be handled in a better and more effective way," she said.

"With better understanding, we are hopeful of further improvement on sex ratio at birth while district teams in this regard have been conducting inspections and with proper timeline and monitoring, registrations are being given to diagnostic centres," she said.

She said that as per the NHFS-5 data, the sex ratio at birth in J&K has improved vastly and it is better than most of the states and union territories of the country.

"We have seen an improvement in the last 10 days and we believe with women empowerment, there will be further improvement in the future," Ayushi Sudan said.

She said that streamlining of PCPNDT act is only one aspect to improve sex ratio but there are several other aspects like women empowerment and different programmes that can help in further improvement of the sex ratio at birth in J&K.

Notably as per the National Family Health Survey (NHFS-5), sex ratio at birth for children born (females per 1,000 males) has increased from 923 in 2015-2016 to 976 in 2019-2020.

As per the NHFS-5 data, against the national average of 929 girl children born for every 1,000 boys, J&K has 976 girl children born for every 1000 boys.

The urban areas have a slight edge over rural pockets, she said. “In urban areas of J&K, 978 girl children were born for every 1,000 boys while in rural areas the rate was 976,” she added

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