Save the Girl Child, Tamil Nadu
Name of the Initiative and State
"Save the Girl Child"- To prevent foeticide, Tamil Nadu
Dr. Darez Ahamed, District Collector, District Magistrate/ Perambalur District, Perambalur, Govt. of Tamil Nadu
Initiative in Brief
Perambalur District is one of the most backward districts in Tamil Nadu, with the lowest per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the State, and a predominantly agrarian society with 83% of population living in rural areas. The Literacy rate is 74.68% (Male 83.39% and Female 66.11 % with a gender gap of 16.5%) (Census 2011). There was a sharp decline in the sex ratio at birth in recent years which declined from, 965 in 2007-08 to 851 in 2010-11 (Number of female children born as against 1000 male children).
An action plan was drafted to study the situation and work towards achieving the goal of improving the sex ratio at birth, which showed an alarming decline. The project was named "SAVE THE GIRL CHILD." and aimed at arresting and reversing the decline in sex ratio at birth using a multi-pronged strategy, which the Pre-Natal Diagnostics Technique (PNDT) Act was unable to achieve. The project was initiated in August 2011 and has been running ever since.
- Early ante-natal care registration
- All second trimester abortions were audited whether the abortion was spontaneous or done after sex determination.
- All male births were audited to ascertain whether they had done sex determination. This audit yielded positive results since the parents were more forthcoming in identifying the scan centers
- Health Sub-Centre served as a unit of intervention
- Mapping of Health Sub-Centre-wise sex ratio and specific intervention planned depending on local problem identification
- Areas where abortion was rampant were brought under continuous surveillance
- Regular follow-up and constant vigil on all the pregnant women at every stage of Ante-Natal Care by the field-level functionaries
- Multi-pronged and multi-departmental approach to create awareness, prevent sex determination and sex selective abortion through campaign mode with Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Doctors and Village Health Nurses (VHNs) playing an anchor role guided, supported and monitored by the District Collector
- Improvement of sex ratio at birth, in the district. The average sex ratio at birth, which was 861 in March 2012 improved to 1,016 by March 2013
- The second trimester abortion cases were reduced to less than 20 from an average of 45 per month.
- Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of the district was reduced by 50%, i.e. to 72 in 2012-13 as compared to 152 in 2011-12
Presentation on "Save the Girl Child" Initiative